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A message from Lewis Kenny

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We work hard to make First Fortnight happen. We work long hours in our so-called real jobs and then work longer in our so-called free time to keep this thing afloat and keep our message out there. It’s hard at times. In fact it’s hard a lot of the time. And I have no problem admitting that quite often I wonder why I still do it and how much longer I can keep doing it. And it’s a funny thing. It seems that every time I feel like that something happens that makes be stop and say “That’s why we do this! That’s why this matters. And that’s why I’m going to keep doing it.” Well, that happened again recently… (more…)

First Fortnight is looking for media and PR volunteers

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First Fortnight is looking for volunteers to assist with its media and PR campaign ahead of the 2015 Festival this January.

You may be someone working in journalism or PR or you may be a blogger, journalist, videographer or PR student with an interest in mental health and looking to gain some experience at working on a festival or health-focused media campaign.

The roles will involve assisting the Press, Public Relations and Media manager. You will work under his guidance to help plan the festival’s PR campaign; contribute articles and ideas for our blog; help push our message on social media; and contact journalists and other media professionals to help gain coverage for the festival.

Hopefully you will be interested in mental health and the arts and willing to give over a few hours each month to help First Fortnight’s goal of challenging mental health stigma.

First Fortnight is a volunteer-run charity, but you’ll get great experience of working on a national festival with a passionate and committed team. It’s great fun, we promise!

If it sounds like something you’re interested in, please drop Steve Cummins a line – steve@firstfortnight.ie or on Twitter @Steve_Cummins

There Is A Light: Christof on Ireland, mental health and his influences

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Hailing from the Lowlands of Holland, singer songwriter Christof composes contemporary folk music from  the heart.

Inspired in early childhood by the classical singing of his mother and the guitar-pickings of his father, Christof has spent the last number of years perfecting his trade (and his collection of stories) as a travelling troubadour across Europe and further afield. He draws his inspiration from the people he meets and the places he lives – from the damp cobbled streets of Galway on Ireland’s Atlantic coast to the bustle and life of London Town.

2012 saw Christof relocate to London and commence work on his forthcoming third EP – ‘Love’s Glory’ which is OUT NOW on Bluestack Records in late 2013. The adventure of the tousled haired lad continues… 

What are you up to right now?

At the moment I am sitting in a van driving near the Lake District on the way to Inverness with Bears den. And we are playing Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, tomorrow.

Who are your heroes?
My mum and dad!

What’s been the best decade of your life so far and why?
The last decade has been very interesting. Moved from home to live in Ireland. Started busking, played some pubs and now touring the world!

What record gets you up when you’re feeling down?
Fionn Regan – The End of History or Jolie Holland’s Catalpa. Doesn’t really get me up but I deal with things better.

Ireland should get talking about mental health because….
I worked in mental health with people with social and learning disability. I’ve also worked on a unit in a nursing home with elderly people with severe dementia. I think it’s very important we should start talking about it because it’s all around us and happening in our families. And we all need to deal with it at some stage in our lives. Whether our own or someone else’s. We should not ignore or walk away from it. As I’ve learned that those people need family and friends the most..

What makes you angry?
People talking out loud during a show/gig..

What book influenced you most?
I don’t really read that many books but I thought Bob Dylan’s Chronicles vol 1 was pretty important to me.

What was the worst moment of your life?
Haven’t had it yet… (Knock wood)

If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?
I wish I knew how to record an album. And I will change that this summer.

Can you recommend an interesting website?
www.wikipedia.com. This is full of interesting facts and things. Anything you like..

What is the best lesson life has taught you?
Keep on trucking!!

Why did you want to be part of There is A Light ?
I’d like there be shown light on mental health in Ireland for I’ve been involved in both a professional and personal situations and it can always be improved.

What is your favourite film and why?
God there are so many. Just watching films in the touring van. Goodfellas is coming next. Heard its a good one.

What do you believe in?
Never giving up in your beliefs.

What is your ultimate guilty pleasure?
A big creamy caramel frappucino from a well established coffee shop..

There Is A Light will be launched with a special concert featuring performances from artists on the album in Whelan’s Dublin on May29th. See whelanslive.com for more.

There is a Light: 10 minutes with Dylan Tighe

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Dylan Tighe (Photo Hillary Woods)

Theatre-Maker and musician Dylan Tighe uses his own psychiatric history to probe some of the assumptions underpinning a scientific view of mental health. His album – and theatre piece – Record explores his diagnosis and experience and Dylan will perform songs from the album at the There Is A Light launch this Thursday (May 29).

What are you up to right now?
Writing songs for my next album

Who are your heroes?
Peter Green, Roky Erikson, Nick Drake

What’s been the best decade of your life so far and why?
This one as I’m finally learning how to live without suffering

What record gets you up when you’re feeling down?
I Want To Be Well by Sufjan Stevens

Ireland should get talking about mental health because…. citizens need to reclaim the conversation back from ‘experts’ and medical discourse.

What makes you angry?
Psychiatric theories of human suffering which posit brain dysfunction as the cause of mental distress

What book influenced you most?
James Joyce by Richard Ellmann

If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?
Having been subjected to a Catholic education

Can you recommend an interesting website?
http://www.madnessradio.net/

What is the best lesson life has taught you?
You have all the tools for living and just need to uncover them

What is your favourite film and why?
The Deerhunter: it stands as the greatest indictment of war on film and shows the effect on the human mind of war and traumatic experience

What do you believe in?
The power of human beings to recover and heal

A story I’d like to share about mental health is… all in my radio piece, nominated for the prix europa 2013

What is your ultimate guilty pleasure?
I dont believe in guilt

It’s good to talk because….silence leads to death

There Is A Light will be launched with a special concert featuring performances from artists on the album in Whelan’s Dublin on May29th. See whelanslive.com for more.

2013 at the First Fortnight Centre for Creative Therapies.

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As we get further into 2014,  the First Fortnight Centre for Creative Therapies looks back on a very successful first year in 2013. We have set up a brand new service, delivering art psychotherapy to individuals within homeless services for group, or individual art psychotherapy.

We have had invaluable support from Genio, Crosscare, Dublin City Council, the HSE and everyone who supports First Fortnight throughout the year. This support has led to the survival of the project into 2014, and we look forward to growing and expanding our service in the coming year. (more…)

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