January 2nd see’s the beginning of Ireland’s mental health art & culture festival.

Launched on the 27th of November by Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly.

The theme for this year’s festival focuses around loneliness, isolation, and community. With over 100 events taking place in 67 venues across 17 counties.

First Fortnight strive to create a consistent space in the national cultural calendar where people can be inspired through arts and cultural events to talk about mental health issues.

Along with organising the festival, First Fortnight also provide free Creative Therapies to people experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness, affected by mental ill health or dual diagnosis.

Festival info

When: 2nd Jan – 5th Feb 2020

Where: In 67 venues across 17 counties

Tickets: Info and tickets available here

Types of events: Family and child-friendly events, Music, Sports, Comedy, Theatre, Film, Panel discussions, Listening events, Workshops.

Our suggestions

How Aria? Community Opera Project

12 January @ 18:00 St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services, Dublin

In collaboration with service users of St. Patricks Mental Health Services and the Irish National Opera, composer Amanda Feery and poet Stephen James Smith premiere How Aria? At First Fortnight and will feature singers Bríd Ní Ghruagáin (mezzo-soprano) and Dominica Williams (mezzo-soprano) accompanied by the Bangers and Crash Percussion Group.

Irene’s Ghost

Nationwide Film Tour

Using animation mixed with filmed footage, Irene’s Ghost explores memory and mental health to movingly rebuild a lost life. This movie shows the journey of Lain as he attempts to understand the mother he never knew, following the secrecy that surrounded her death.

Irene’s Ghost will be screened in multiple venues across the country with some shows including a post-show discussion.

A Desire for Closeness

10th– 24th Jan Presentation Centre, Wexford

An exhibition created by international artist Nicola Anthony. Working with individuals in Wexford, Nicola has created an immersive installation that will share insight into the feeling of being isolated, displaced, or lonely.

Through art, Nicola helps give voice to the experience of what loneliness can feel and look like and help people reconnect.

The full festival programme can be found here



























For more information visit

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