Our Green Ribbon event, which is an annual initiative that promotes open conversation on the subject of mental health in Ireland during the month of May, was opened by Minister Finian McGrath TD, Minister of State with special responsibility for Disability Issues, on 9th May 2019 and will run until 23rd June 2019. On the event, Mr. McGrath commented
“People are more than their mental health conditions, and the individuality expressed in each piece here today speaks to the diversity, creativity, and personality of each artist”.
Over the past five years, the National Gallery of Ireland’s Community Programme has worked with us supporting the art strand of our programme. As Castleview Manager Edward O’Reilly stated
“Without those behind us this wouldn’t work. Each year we bring Art into the Community so that the families can view it and they have done powerful work, and that is real community integration. A special thanks to Brina and the outreach programme, it certainly does what it says on the tin”.
Our HUB programme focuses on people’s knowledge, skills, personal resources and social supports, it is informed by the belief that everyone has the potential to change and grow. This was reiterated by Dr. Margaret Webb, General Manager, on the day who commented
“We are in the confidence building game. Our job is to help people to regain that sense of self-belief”.
Working with Gallery artists and facilitators, and engaging with both temporary exhibitions and the Gallery’s permanent collection, the participants of this series of projects have had personal experiences of the positive, therapeutic impact that art can have on our lives and on our mental health.
Commenting, Brina Casey, Community & Access at the National Gallery of Ireland, said,
“The partnership between the Gallery and EVE Castleview has fostered and fuelled curiosity amoungst the clients across a wide variety of events, workshops, exhibitions and activities. We’re thrilled to present this display where visitors can see a selection of the works created by participants, read their words, and reflect upon their own experiences of what art means to them.”
The launch had a very positive effect on all who attended and facilitated a time to reflect and discuss recovery, mental health and the power of art. One Castleview participant, Susan, summarised the event as follows:
"Our Green Ribbon event on the 19th of May 2019, will remain in our memory for a very long time, it was amazing from start to finish. We had Minister Finian McGrath open the Art exhibition in the National Gallery of Ireland. We all agreed that walking into the Millennium Wing Studio took our breath away. Here was our work on the walls, with quotes from us, and so many people, our staff and manager, other centres, our managing director Margaret Webb and Angela Walsh, Head of Service for Mental Health, and the staff of the National Gallery. Walking around looking at the art and listening to the speeches with my family and friends was one of the most proud moments of my life”.