In 2017, Cairdeas members took part in the Look Beyond Photography research project in association with See Change. See Change’s aim is to challenge people to ‘Look Beyond’ the often negative labels associated with mental health difficulty so that every person in Ireland can be open and positive about their own and others mental health.
Our Look Beyond exhibition began in Smock Alley last year and has travelled to many locations all over Ireland. We were delighted on Tuesday 15th May to finally bring it to Bray to the Little Bray Resource Centre as part of our green ribbon month celebrations.
Once again the people from See Change were there to encourage us. Maria, Etain and Celine were an integral part of the project and I know that they were very happy with the work we produced. We left Cairdeas Clubhouse yesterday afternoon after lunch and were in plenty of time for the opening speech given by our manager Ronan at 2.30.
There were quite a lot of people present, Cairdeas Clubhouse members, service providers such as the HSE, KWETB and the Bray Area partnership, people from the Resource Centre and of course family members and the public.
After mixing and chatting with each other, Ronan took to the mic to talk a little bit about Cairdeas Clubhouse and how we got involved in See Change, Green Ribbon and the Look Beyond project. Cairdeas members and project photographers Marion, Catherine,and Tony said a few words about what their pieces meant. Celine from See Change talked about the orgnisation and green ribbon month. Finally Dr Maria Quinlan talked about the photovoice method and the great work the Look Beyond project does towards breaking the stigma arouns mental health.
After the speeches everyone went around viewing the photos and reading the stories connected with each individual photo. Those of us who needed refreshment headed towards the tea and coffee table where there were some delicious cakes and pastries as well!
The exhibition will head to Farmleigh in the Phoenix park in July and we in Cairdeas clubhouse plan to make a visit there when it’s on.
The afternoon turned out to be a resounding success and both participants and public left the event with more knowledge and positivity on the subject of Mental Health. We should,all of us, make our state of mind a priority.