Headspace -Coming soon a new homegrown magazine to channel creativity and expression of mental health. Now seeking submissions HeadSpaceZine@gmail.com
Ireland’s attitude to mental health is changing.
This change is long overdue and it has not been easy. How we used to treat our mentally vulnerable is not something to be proud of. Even when care improved in hospitals and institutions, general understanding did not improve. The culture of silence and denial have become entrenched and mental health, despite its importance, remains an issue that few people seem comfortable discussing or trying to address.
But things are improving. For years, the Samaritans and other groups modelled on them have been there to listen, and it’s impossible to overstate the importance of this simple act. Awareness campaigns like Please Talk and those led by Aware have helped to crack the stigma associated with mental health problems and may break it yet. Now, a group of young people have found a new way to get Ireland talking and thinking about mental health.
HeadSpace is a writing and art zine based around the theme of mental health. The idea was born from the experiences of a group of young people who were dealing with mental health difficulties. It was clear for those who had spent time in psychiatric wards that there was a lack of appropriate reading material available there, and few places to express the artwork they had made in the ward following discharge. Others felt stigmatised around mental health which made it difficult to communicate their experiences in times of poor mental health or after an improvement.
The name HeadSpace was motivated by the idea that in culture and society, we are not given the time or capacity to express, create and think as time is money, but all of us feel the need to buy some ‘headspace’ – you need to be able to afford reflection, and reflection and time are essentials to maintaining positive mental health.
The zine, which will be launched in April and distributed free in psychiatric wards and support groups will act as a forum for expression and creativity based around the theme of mental health as well as showing solidarity and support for people not in the whole of their mental health. The zine will express and explore all aspects of mental health, positive and negative, in an effort to engage the public with an issue which is often taboo and shied away from. How do you define mental health? How does it relate to society, to family, to history? How is it perceived? What’s its relationship to personal responsibility? HeadSpace doesn’t presume it will answer these questions. But it will help us all to think about them.
HeadSpace is still welcoming submissions of art, creative writing, poetry, articles, and personal experience stories. “We want to focus on ALL aspects of Mental Health, the positive and the negative, don’t just think illness, think recovery too!” Please send your submissions to HeadSpaceZine@gmail.com by the end of February, and like HeadSpace on Facebook to keep up with this fantastic project as it develops.