As First Fortnight – Art of Mental Health festival draws to a close, the exhibition Unpacking Traveller Mental Health went on view at Dundalk Institute of Technology (17 January).

Unpacking Traveller Mental Health

This event gives students a chance to learn about factors that impact on Traveller mental health and to talk to Travellers from Balbriggan Traveller Project.

Photo by Derek Speirs.

Journeys – Where I Am Now?

Earlier in the festival the Traveller Health Unit partnered with other organisations for an event entitled ‘Journeys – Where I am Now?’ that explored topics of migration, culture, communities and mental health held at Dublin City University.

Patrick Reilly, mental health worker in Pavee Point, contributed to the event through participating in a Transcultural Dialogue panel which explored culture, communities and mental health with representatives from Cairde, Recovery College Dublin North and AkidWa .  

Workshop at Dublin City University

‘Unpacking Traveller Mental Health’ was also on display and was used to facilitate a workshop by Geraldine McDonnell and Patrick Reilly exploring the impact of unemployment, lack of education and poor living conditions on Traveller mental health.

Gloke Poetry

Earlier in the festival (10 January) Traveller men featured as part of a collaboration with poet Geoff Finan. Geoff spent a number of weeks working in a series of creative workshops with Traveller men from the Traveller Health Unit through projects in the Eastern Region Traveller Health Network to co-write the poem ‘Gloke’ – based on the lived experience of Traveller men – which looks at how being a Traveller can impact on mental health through the experience of racism and discrimination. This was performed live at the Workmen’s Club in Dublin.

Alan Hanley, Geoff Finan, Michael Collins and Andy O Hara at ‘Gloke’ First Fortnight.

First Fortnight is a charity that challenges mental health prejudice through arts and cultural action.