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First Fortnight 2017

Find out what's happening at the Mental Health Arts Festival

Written by Tricia Purcell | View this authors Twitter page and posted in news

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Leading sports journalist Paul Kimmage, comedian Eleanor Tiernan, a new documentary about controversial Irish psychiatrist Ivor Browne, and appearances and contributions from music acts Otherkin, Girl Band, Le Galaxie, R.S.A.G and Windings are among a number of well-known names set to challenge mental health stigma this January as part of the 2017 First Fortnight mental health arts festival.

Now in its eighth year, First Fortnight 2017 will see live music, film, theatre, discussion and arts events staged to create open discussion and understanding of mental health problems, and challenge prejudice and discrimination. Speaking at the launch of this year’s festival programme, Helen McEntee, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, said: “Talking about mental health can help us to eliminate any associated stigma. Events like First Fortnight can help to create a space in which such conversations can take place.

“The timing of this festival is crucial as it takes place in early January, the bleakest time of the year, especially for those vulnerable among us." Among the events taking place across Dublin and selected venues nationwide include Sunday Assembly - a unique music and talk event that bills itself as 'the godless congregation for people who want to live better, help often and wonder more'.

With the help of their house musician Paddy Cullivan (The Camembert Quartet/ The Late Late Show House Band) and The Mellow Tonics choir, gather at Dublin’s Unitarian Church on New Year’s Day to hear engaging speakers discuss mental health and be surrounded by secular positivity. This event will be staged in partnership with New Year’s Festival Dublin. Other events taking place on New Year’s Day in partnership with NYF Dublin include an outdoor screening of the acclaimed Disney movie Inside Out, a children’s workshop around the themes of emotion expressed in the movie, entitled Hello Myself and Co-Motion a unique music and walking event.

The Wonder Eye, a premiere of a brand new documentary about former psychiatrist Ivor Browne – a central figure in Irish mental health for many decades – will be shown at the IFI, Dublin on January 14. The documentary features contributions from Tommy Tiernan, Tom Murphy, Mary Coughlan, Sebastian Barry and Nell McCafferty, among others. 

Read more about full programme of events on

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Published November 24th, 2016
Last updated November 25th, 2016
Tags first fortnight mental health stigma
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