Join us from11-19th May 2019 as we celebrate the mental health benefits of creativity with our partners Voluntary Arts, Get Creative and The Ivy Bar. The Ivy is a Safe House, that means somewhere you can go if you are in mental distress and talk about it – judgement free. Staff in The Ivy are trained in Safe Talk and know how to sensitively seek help for people when they need it. We are deeply grateful to Marty from The Ivy for helping us celebrate creativity since we all want to boost wellbeing and dispel stigma.

The theme for our festival is Keep Holding On and reflects the community consultation Deep Down held in 2018 asking the community what they wanted. The message was clear, the NHS is overstretched and the grassroots need to do what they can to support those with lived experience. We have since joined together to keep holding on.

We are delighted to be joined by Poetry NI, Natalie Smith, Kate Smeltzer, Leigh Stirrup, Kev Hatton, Rebecca Magee, Eve Williams, Beverley Healey and other wonderful artists for a programme of music, poetry, creative writing, visual arts, comedy and film. We will be kicking things off on 11th May by taking a group to the Darkness into Light walk and finishing on the 19th May with a joyful review of our experiences. There will be a group participating in the Get Creative Createathon at the Ulster Museum on 18th May, when we will provide creativity for children of all ages. All this at a low cost and with the added bonus of a chance to raise funds for Ards Suicide Awareness Group.

Watch this space as we will be launching the finished programme soon, so please spread the word. Feel free to email us with any enquiries at:

Creativity: Supporting Mental Health

Lifeline 0808 808 8000

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