Cork mural promotes mental health

Cork mural promotes mental health
Kevin O'Brien from Mad About Cork with the new mural on Kyrl's Quay

STREET artists Mad About Cork have teamed up with a mental health awareness group to reduce the stigma surrounding depression.

The group has teamed up with First Fortnight and painted a mural on a wall at Kyrl’s Quay emblazoned with the words: It’s ok not to be ok.

Mad About Cork, a voluntary group in Cork City aiming to make positive changes in derelict and run-down urban spaces through street art and guerrilla gardening, have already gained recognition for their Coal Quay vegetable garden and electricity box street art. They meet weekly, adding street art, flowers, and urban gardens to forgotten spaces across the city.

“Mental health issues are something that have affected us all, whether it’s ourselves, a family member or friend,” said artist Kevin O’Brien, a founding member of Mad About Cork.

“It’s important to raise awareness of these issues and reduce the stigma so people feel comfortable talking about their own troubles.

“When First Fortnight got in touch about the mural, we were very keen to get involved,” he added.

First Fortnight, a charity that challenges mental health prejudice through arts and cultural action, aim to make the first fortnight of each year synonymous with mental health awareness, challenging prejudice and ending stigma.

“They do great work across the country and it’s great to be involved,” said Mr O’Brien, who revealed it is not Mad About Cork’s first time involved with mental health organisations.

“We’ve done work with the Samaritans before, another great charity, and we’re keen to get involved as much as possible as it’s a major issue.”

While the First Fortnight festival is already big in Dublin, it is looking to make an impact in the Rebel County in 2018. Poetry events, music gigs and talks will take place across the city and county during the first two weeks of 2018.

See www.firstfortnight.ie

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