Change Your Mind Festival

600 people attend HSE Mental Health Promotion Event

Leitrim Observer Reporter


Leitrim Observer Reporter

600 people attend HSE Mental Health Promotion Event

Mum Joanne, with Tom and Ciara O'Halloran, drumming with Peter Crann from 'We drum Ireland', at the Change Your Mind Festival

Approximately 600 people attended a one day Mental Health Promotion event organised by HSE Sligo/Leitrim Mental Health Services entitled “Change Your Mind Festival” which took place on Sunday 25th March in Clayton Hotel, Sligo.

The aim of the festival is to raise awareness regarding the importance of prevention and fight against Stigma in mental health.  People of all ages had the opportunity to enjoy the countless activities that were on offer. 

The festival started at 10am with a 5km charity walk/run on site.  This was followed by the eclectic sounds of traditional American Irish Folk Music with Rick Epping, Leonard Barry & Friends.   During the day attendees had the opportunity to listen to over 20 mental health professionals from within the HSE and from a number of other organisations speak about positive mental health and stigma prevention. 

There were also a vast array of workshops for children to attend including 'My Teddy Magic Workshop' and 'What floats your boat and what thing weighs it down Workshop'.  Entertainment provided for children also included storytelling with Happily ever After Storytelling, and a fitness class for children with Rinka North Sligo.

Throughout the day various demonstrations took place including Arts & Crafts, Painting, Baking and Cooking.  A number of Arts & Crafts were on display including a display of artworks produced by service users. 'We drum Ireland' hosted a drumming workshop for all ages. Finally those attending the festival rocked out the evening with The Mass Band from Sligo and The RobotRock from Dublin. 

The event itself was free to attend. There was a surcharge to complete the 5k Charity walk/run of €10 for adults and €5 for children.  All monies collected from this will go towards Sligo and Leitrim Mental Health Associations.

Dr Ignazio Graffeo Psychiatry Registrar with Sligo/Leitrim Mental Health Services and one of chief organisers of the festival stated "We are extremely thankful to those who came to the festival and supported us with their presence and their kind words. We created an atmosphere with no barriers, no prejudices, positive and constructive that opens new scenarios for the future of Mental Health."