Time to Talk Day on 1st February was a really great way for Deep Down to begin operations. We talked a lot about how the arts are used for mental health and wellbeing. We examined the artists’ role in the community and whether ongoing groups or one off events were more beneficial to the people who really needed it. The main thing that emerged from discussion, however, was that we need to strengthen our network of artists so that we can have more of these important conversations about what it is we do. We also want to understand each other’s work and to get to know who you can call on when you have a specific question – so if someone with dementia joins your group you might want to talk to an artist who has a care home programme, for example. Stage one for us is supporting the artists for the benefit of the community. Since a number of us are concerned about burnout, we are planning to fill our creative cups with solidarity and a sense of community. To commence this, we will be having a relaxed support meeting on the first Thursday of every month in Bangor, venue to be confirmed. We will also find a slot to meet in South Down as soon as we can. We are very excited by the interest from the community in our work and we hope to connect organisations with artists in a more meaningful way. We also hope that we will someday become a source of training for artists on things like mental health first aid. Events and celebrations may well come in time, but for now, we are strengthening our artists, who are such an important part of our community, because you can’t pour from an empty cup.