Arts festival to raise awareness of mental health problems

A MUSIC and art project to raise awareness about mental health problems in a positive way will play a series of gigs throughout the city until October.

Music for the Mind, founded by 22-year-old Michelle Dalton, is a new Cork-based arts festival aimed at raising awareness of mental health.

Ms Dalton, from Midleton, Co Cork, has herself suffered from mental health problems.

Music for the Mind also provides free music and art activities within the main mental health facilities in Cork, making life better for patients.

“Musicians and artists have been playing private gigs and holding workshops for the patients since January 2011,” Ms Dalton said.

“I came up with the idea about a year and half ago. I was in hospital myself at the time and had nothing to do so I had this idea. There often isn’t a lot to do so in hospital due to a lack of funding, and this is something that really cheers people up.”

From now until October there will be music in various venues around the city including The Slate, The Bowery, The Roundy, The Crane Lane and Bradleys, culminating in October with an exclusive concert in St Finbarr’s Cathedral, featuring a very special guest, yet to be named.

“Our mission is to create awareness and raise funds towards improving mental health facilities and to bring art and music to the psychiatric wards to improve the quality of life within the different psychiatric wards and hospitals,” Ms Dalton said.

She hopes to break down the stigma around mental health issues and empower people to break away from labels which people are given.

For more information on festival go to “Music for the mind festival” on Facebook.

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