Patrick Kavanagh ‘Almost Everything…’ is OUT NOW!

Bono, Hozier, Imelda May, Liam Neeson, Jessie Buckley, Aidan Gillen, Lisa McGee, Lisa Hannigan, President Michael D. Higgins, Evanna Lynch, Sharon Corr, Kathleen Watkins, Christy Moore, Rachael Blackmore and Aisling Bea bring the work of seminal Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh to life on a new record, ‘Almost Everything…’ , released today from Claddagh Records.

For many of us, Patrick Kavanagh joined our life’s journey as we sat at hard desks in cold classrooms struggling to make sense of so much. Kavanagh made poetry real. He opened our minds to life, soil and soul.

>

Originally released on Claddagh Records in 1964, the double album also features the only recordings of the revered Irish poet reading his most celebrated poems. Now remastered and reimagined this new two-part album features the original recordings together with Kavanagh’s poetry read by some of Ireland’s most recognizable names and set to a truly stunning musical composition.

The vinyl format of this release contains two truly unique sleeves. The first hosts a printed collage of sketches of all the celebrated readers around Patrick Kavanagh, with Kavanagh himself visible through the cut-out square on the cover itself. The second vinyl sleeve is an exact replica of the original 1964 release. Both physical formats include a booklet containing all the poetry one will hear on the album.

Meet & Greet – 26 September

Minding Creative Minds’ (MCM) September online Meet and Greet Session will take place on Monday September 26th at 7.00pm.

This event is free of charge and registration is now open, just click the button below.

Later this month, on September 26th Minding Creative Minds’ (MCM) in association with The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, EPIC Working Group, Irish Music Rights Organization (IMRO), Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA), MCD Productions & The Cowshed will hold our twelfth online meet and greet session and we look forward to seeing you there.

As with all the sessions throughout the year, there is no charge but to access you need to register and you can do this by clicking here.

The agenda for our online meet and greet sessions is simple; to share experiences and advice with each other; to have conversations with our peers and creative sector colleagues. We encourage feedback on the sessions and would love to hear from you to info@mindingcreativeminds.ie .

Meet & Greet – 29 August

Minding Creative Minds’ (MCM) August online Meet and Greet Session will take place on Monday August 29th at 7.00pm.

This event is free of charge and registration is now open, just click the button below.

Later this month, on August 29th Minding Creative Minds’ (MCM) in association with The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, EPIC Working Group, Irish Music Rights Organization (IMRO), Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA), MCD Productions & The Cowshed will hold our twelfth online meet and greet session and we look forward to seeing you there.

As with all the sessions throughout the year, there is no charge but to access you need to register and you can do this by clicking here.

The agenda for our online meet and greet sessions is simple; to share experiences and advice with each other; to have conversations with our peers and creative sector colleagues. We encourage feedback on the sessions and would love to hear from you to info@mindingcreativeminds.ie .

Maria Kelly – Postcards In-Between

 

Ireland & UK Tour  + Exhibition & event in association with Minding Creative Minds + New versions of songs from ‘The Sum of the In-between’ album

 

Irish alt-folk star Maria Kelly today announces the details of Postcards In-between: an ambitious project that comprises a tour of Ireland and the UK; a pop-up exhibition and event that brings Irish creatives together in an effort to cultivate self-compassion and examine mental health supports; and new versions of a selection of the songs from her debut album, The Sum of the In-between, which was released last October. 

 

The Postcards In-between Tour 

Maria Kelly will play tour dates in Ireland and one in the UK this May and June, in a tour presented by Singular Artists & Friends. Tickets for all shows are on sale now. Dates as follows: 

 

Sat 7th MayDublin – Whelans Main Room 

Sun 8th MayGalway – Róisín Dubh 

Fri 13th MayLimerick, The Record Room 

Sun 15th MayCork, Winthrop Avenue

Wed 1st JuneLondon, Servant Jazz Quarters

 

The Postcards In-between Pop-Up Exhibition 

The Postcards In-between project initially started with Maria asking her fellow Irish songwriters to pen a ‘note to self’ letter to a version of themselves that they thought might need a helping hand. The letters became 12 postcards – each one linking to a track on the original The Sum of the In-between album. 

The project features 11 of Maria’s fellow Irish songwriters: Abbacaxi, Ciaran Lavery, James Vincent McMorrow, Paul Noonan, Rosie Carney, Runah, Saint Sister, Sammy Copely, Shiv, Sive and Tim Chadwick

Designed by Irish-French illustrators Pipe & Pallet (Nathanaël Roman) and Cécilia Noiraud, these postcards will be exhibited in various forms at a free pop-up exhibition taking place at Universal Space, Dublin on the first two days of the May bank holiday weekend – Saturday 30th April and Sunday 1st May.

On the Saturday evening, at 7pm, there will be a ticketed event with a panel discussion and live music performances.

The exhibition and event are being run in association with Minding Creative Minds, Ireland’s first 24/7 (32 county and our Irish overseas) wellbeing support programme for the entire Irish creative sector.  Minding Creative Minds‘ counselling services (in association with Spectrum Life) include: *a 24/7 Dedicated Phone Line; Short-term intervention, telephone Counselling, secure video counselling and comprehensive web portal and app enabling live chat function with a counsellor. Minding Creative Minds focuses on the wellbeing of the entire person, so our programme also includes access to a number of additional services, helping users with various practical issues also.  See **additional details on our key supports and all our contact details in the editors notes section later in this document.

Dave Reid founder, Minding Creative Minds says: Our focus at Minding Creative Minds is supporting the entire individual. We ask people in our creative community not to wait until they are in a crisis to contact us; if something is troubling you, regardless of how small you deem it to be, let us help you. This in itself is one of the kindest acts of self-compassion you can show yourself; the theme Maria has chosen for this beautiful and thought-provoking exhibition and event. We applaud Maria for this initiative and are very pleased to display our support by partnering with her for The Postcards In Between Exhibition and Event.”

 

The Postcards In-between Music 

In addition to the postcards to be exhibited, Maria has also teamed up with a number of the artists mentioned to record a series of reworkings, remixes and alternative versions of a selection of the songs from The Sum of the In-between

Details of the singles to be released will be announced over the coming weeks and months, but we can reveal that the first of these will be a collaboration between Maria Kelly and Paul Noonan for a stunning version of the album’s title track ‘The Sum of the In-between’,  which will be released on Wednesday 30th March on Maria’s label, Veta Music

Of this project, Maria Kelly says: “‘Postcards In-between’ aims to bridge the gap between who we were, who we are, and who we will be. It’s a project about self-compassion; acknowledging the part of ourselves that is always changing, growing and learning. The part that is always, at some level, trying their best. 

“By collecting different perspectives this way I hope that anyone reading the postcard or visiting the exhibition might be able to identify with them, finding some comfort in the fact that somebody else made it out the other side – a way of seeing yourself, by meeting somebody else exactly where they are.” 

 

Handling personal loss while holding onto your work hat!

When my younger brother of 35 years old died suddenly in a tragic incident in August 2020, I wanted to stay in bed for a week but couldn’t. In one of the hardest times of my life, we have two parents both with serious health conditions and keeping them from losing their will was huge.

He was my first of two brothers, we’d been chatting only the day before in my parents house. He was still our ‘little’ brother of course as he had returned to college a couple of years ago and was a student once more. Though we’d seen each other only every few weeks over the Covid months given movement restrictions in Dublin March – July, I always believed that our lives would be connected together forever. And now, at only 35, he’s gone.

Often we think about and are, in some ways, prepared for the loss of older relatives–our grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles. Yet here I was totally shocked and unprepared to lose a sibling, I always thought our siblings are supposed to make it to the end with us. I thought my brother Michael would be there for all the big emotional moments in our life, like celebrating his 40th birthday or attending my son Morgan’s 3rd birthday.

I feel so odd even writing this as I think the death of a younger sibling as the eldest has some odd effect or immoral aspect to it. Why am I alive longer than he is?  I felt when we lost my brother, his death took away one of my connections to the past. Michael knew me in a very special way, unlike those who know me now as an adult. Its like a constant is gone. I really felt  over the months after his death quite insecure. I didn’t have frequent weekly communication with him and that makes me feel sad and guilty at the same time. He holds a special place in my life as my brother even though he didn’t have an impact on my day-to-day activities. I also found after losing Michael, especially with work and around friends , that his death made me feel older, and vulnerable to life, like our family is dwindling somehow.

People don’t always grieve in the same way – not everyone will cry or feel sad. Some people might feel shocked or numb, especially in the first days or weeks. We all appreciate grief is different for everyone, and people process it in different ways. For me, losing my brother, and then trying to snap back into ‘work mode’ and ‘positive mode’ really was challenging.

Everyone’s work situations are different, but it’s safe to say that most of us have to get back to an office or to a job at some point. No matter how long you are able to take, getting back into the regular routine when you’re in a serious state of mourning is hard. I’m an Event Organiser and marketing specialist, while also lecturing professionals and final years in higher education in Ireland. While I had a set number of days off, I needed to consider the need to work as there were no live physical events taking place, no conference, awards or sporting events which meant I was already on an income reduction for 2020. I had to work consistently in order to pay my share of the bills. I found it was a huge financial stress when I didn’t do much work for almost two weeks. Also by August, I felt so many wonderful souls had been taken from friends and colleagues around me, that death had somewhat become normal news to people. We were becoming numb to the new of losses as the impact of the pandemic took effect on us all.

Given I have clients in Industry as well as the College and University I work in, I rather talk to countless people on a daily basis—and I’m closer to some of them than others. Its also quite an International work environment and self managing. It can feel even in normal circumstances ‘silo -like’ at the best of times. So, the first question that came to mind when I sat back down to re-engage with my work was: Who should I tell? Everyone? No one? Even more confusing was the fact that I both wanted and didn’t want to talk about it. The tragedy had been in the news, the papers, the national TV news. I was so conflicted.

I didn’t know how to keep the fact inside, but at the same time I thought that I wasn’t supposed to talk about my personal life in my professional world. The lines I find are quite blurred for me  in my role; I communicate quite a lot on social media as many of my friends are there working away in different regions or countries. I love the volunteer work I do with the global board, and I had commitments to deliver there too, distractions that were welcomed at the time. Many people I work with are my friends on LinkedIN, Facebook or WhatsApp. Reeling from the death of my younger brother, I consumed myself with work, being a mum and had a number of upcoming virtual events to plan. In an act of trying to stay busy, while also trying my best to stay positive and enjoy the good moments with my husband and son, there were times when I allowed the grief to set in and I called on the universe and those I knew who asked about me to help me get through it.

Silence. I was surprised with the existing ‘radio silence’ I felt still existed. Everyone experiences loss at some point in their lives, and yet I felt like I had to apologise for taking a conversation to a negative place. We know there are none of us that get through life unscathed by grief, which means the immediate aftermath, when simply leaving the house can feel unbearable, is also a universal experience. Yet the silence persists, or even just because it’s painful and hard. I spoke to a number of experts and many friends around me who unfortunately had suffered losses throughout the pandemic, some within our minding creative minds community about how to best face the world (and your work life ) when you’re grieving as I didn’t like the feeling of being uncertain about how to proceed. I also wanted to be able to grieve the death of my brother while being respectful of family members who are also dealing with his loss. I refrained from sharing all the details of upcoming projects, or positive news. There were times when I didn’t feel like getting up in the morning to go to work, but I buried myself with projects as well as ongoing classes, and once up and active at work, I felt I could stay motivated and distracted. With a nearly three year old son, there is never a moment where I am not distracted at home 🙂  However, in reading about grief, I read about a Professor Wolfson who says it’s important to make space for grief and doing this can actually feel freeing. “Grief never goes away. It is something we all learn how to adapt to. The intensity of grief changes over time,” Wolfson explains. “One of the big things that helps us adapt to loss is to make space for these emotions. This allows you to re-engage with your life and have a vision that’s meaningful in the absence of your loved one,” he says.

I got back a number of tips from my readings and asking questions to those who had been through the journey.  Here is just a few…

 

Tell your management /reporting colleagues immediately:

When you return to work or even before, make sure your management and colleagues know about your loss. Depending on your relationship with your managers, this may seem challenging, or awkward, but it’s very important.Though you don’t need to alert every single person you work for or with, ‘there’s someone you report into and that person should know. You can be straightforward. You will want the people you work closely with to know that you might need some extra support on the job. These are difficult things to talk about but also important to talk about. They are also normal life events. Everyone will experience loss in their lives. And everyone will experience vulnerability while grieving,

 

Plan ahead and pre your reply: 

Prepare for some of the workplace situations that might arise with even the most well-intentioned colleagues. If you’re worried, for example, that as soon as you step into the office, you’ll start crying and won’t be able to stop, or that someone will ask intrusive questions you don’t want to answer,decide in advance how you want to respond.

 

Identify your lifeline: 

Find one person, ideally at work—though it could be an outside friend—with whom you feel known, accepted, and understood, and let that person know you might need to call on them throughout the day.

 

Self-Care  for you, & co: ( As I write this I know I’m not following it as perfectly myself as I could).

I do believe now, possibly I couldn’t understand it as much before, that a person shouldn’t feel like you have to keep it together for every hour every day. Try to take at least a short break during the day, time to breath, get out of the office, take a breath. Creating time to take care of yourself can do wonders for dealing with loss. People can practice self-care in a variety of ways, like journaling, joining a bereavement support group, or participating in online networks or groups that deal with loss. The bottom line is that you should never feel alone in your grief and staying connected to others can help you process your emotions.

 

The Guilt trip:

In my family life, especially when it came to being at home with my husband and son, there were times I felt absent or distracted and then afterward a wave of guilt for not being completely present and taking joy in every minute of my son’s progress. Sometimes I would find myself fighting back the tears and singing a song with him so he wouldn’t see mammy upset. From reading, I know It’s common to feel guilty about grief, especially if you don’t want to be overbearing on your partner or family members. While myself and my husband Martin were present to see my son Morgan make his milestones. I was worried that I wasn’t showing them both how happy I was or that I was overwhelming Martin with my roller coaster of emotions. What helped me get through this tough period was having conversations with Martin about the waves of sadness I felt, while also reveling in the moments of joy and laughter we share about Morgan etc. These conversations are still happening even now 🙂 We tend to rely heavily on our partners for emotional support when we’re grieving, and this is completely fine. Family members like siblings and others can be feeling quite raw or mixed, and sometimes still reacting to their own trauma so alot fell on my husband martin and close friends. This is what they signed up for, after all, but it’s important for them to get the support they need, too.

Professor Wolfson mentions “Engaging with positive experiences and emotions is central to the process of adapting to loss. However, it can certainly be challenging if you feel you are in a different place than those around you,” Wolfson says. By communicating your feelings with your partner, family and friends, they can understand that people grieve at different paces and in different ways. “Through communication and openness, you can feel more understood by your support system in your grief and be empathetic towards the feelings of those around you,” he adds.

 

Prepare for the big milestones you will miss:

Birthdays, and holidays are often difficult—but can be predicted. It will help if you anticipate that these may be difficult times, as they are times when you are likely to be reminded of the person you have lost. If you know you might feel extra sensitive on one of these occasions, don’t be afraid to take a day out. My brother Michel would have been 36 on 22nd February and we went to my parents, had his cake and took time to be around each other, and to honour his memory.

He s 1 year gone Aug 13th. For the most part, work is no longer the problem (it keeps me busy) and I’m trying to stop apologising when I do talk about my grief, even in work and professional settings. I still find myself tearing up at unexpected times or feeling pure disbelief, but I’m getting more comfortable with knowing that might happen and to allow myself to let it happen and go with it.  It helps that I am surrounded by good support, and within this community I have been given great comfort. I have to say it’s unique and really lovely to be within the community here as there is always lots to do and that helps me stay in touch through organising, co ordinating programmes etc. Something I know I will fine and it is because of networks and communities like our one here, it allows me take time for myself and share discussions on topics that are important to me , to support those in events and the creative sector in general. It really helps feed my soul working with all the wonderful people around us, the volunteers, the team who are creating some great projects together. I take comfort in hoping my brother  Michael is keeping an eye on us too 🙂

 

Emma Olohan.
Lecturer, Business Owner, International Marketing, Events & PR specialist. MCM Board and Global Goodwill Ambassador. 

Mindfulness & Meditation Classes

Minding Creative Minds in association with Ben Glover, accredited mindfulness & meditation teacher, is delighted to offer free mindfulness and meditation classes to members of the Irish Creative Sector. Ben will host three classes on consecutive Tuesday evenings at 7pm, starting on 15 June.

Ben is a certified mindfulness meditation teacher who works extensively with private clients as well as running meditation programs within the corporate setting. His training is in awareness and compassion-based practices and in addition, he is also a certified hypnotherapist. In describing his practice he says, “The tool of meditation is a transformative way to simply be with all the experiences that we encounter and bring an awareness and awakened response to them.” Ben is a native of County Antrim in N.Ireland but currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee. He comes from a creative background having been a touring singer-songwriter for the last fifteen years.

For more information please go to Be Still Aware Awake.

The ViVid Project Launch

The ViViD Project is organised and ran by freelance photographer Andrew Crowley, who goes by the name of Sunny Sardini Pictures.

The ViViD Project is a photography project aiming to contribute to the important conversation of mental health awareness within the Irish Creative Sector.

#TVP is producing a photobook with the theme of mental health/mental wellbeing and features various photographers across the Republic of Ireland and their work. The launch of the photobook will take place on the 29th of April 2021. You can register for #TVP Online Launch at www.sunnysardini.ie/the-vivid-project

This online launch will include industry guest speakers:

  • Music and Portrait photographer – Ruth Medjber
  • Concert photographer & mental health activist – Kieran Frost
  • Minding Creative Minds founder – Dave Reid

The ViViD Project is fundraising for Minding Creative Minds. Minding Creative Minds is a free 24/7 Wellbeing Support Programme for the entire Irish Creative Sector.

There will be two versions of the photobook. One you can find online at www.sunnysardini.ie/the-vivid-project where viewers can also donate. If you donate €20 or more you will receive a hard copy of The ViViD Project Photobook via the post!

 

 

Minister announces funding for the expansion of the Minding Creative Minds to the Irish creative sector

Minister announces funding of €230,000 for the expansion of the Minding Creative Minds wellbeing & support programme to the Irish creative sector

The Minister for Culture, Arts, Media, Tourism, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin T.D., today announced funding of €230,000 for the expansion of Minding Creative Minds existing service to the entire Irish creative sector, both home and Irish abroad.

Workers in the cultural, creative and live entertainment sector continue to be significantly affected by COVID-19 restrictions.  Life Worth Living, the Report of the Arts and Culture Recovery taskforce concluded, “All these factors are having a damaging effect on the mental health and wellbeing of people working in these sectors”.  Recommendation 6 of this report further recognises the need to establish a programme that provides wellbeing supports to the creative sector.

Minding Creative Minds (MCM), Ireland’s (32 county and Irish overseas) first 24/7 wellbeing support programme for the Irish Creative community launched in June and is now open to the entire creative and live events sector delivered by Spectrum Life.  This is only possible due to continued support from our funding partners (First Fortnight, IMRO, IRMA, MCD, Universal Music Ireland, RAAP, The BAI & KPMG) and this summer being chosen as a beneficiary of EPIC Working Group’s (www.epicwg.com) fundraising initiative, Songs From An Empty Room held in July and ongoing We Are The Support Act fundraising initiatives.

Minister Martin said:  “I am very pleased to announce this funding to support the important work of Minding Creative Minds. Now more than ever, our creative community requires support. I would like to congratulate Minding Creative Minds on their success to date in rolling out this innovative programme of supports to those requiring assistance in the music sector and I look forward to the expansion of this programme over the coming weeks, which I am sure will be welcomed by the Irish creative sector, both home and abroad.

 Of this expansion founder Dave Reid said, “We are delighted to announce the expansion of Minding Creative Minds which will enable anyone working in the Irish Creative Sector the opportunity to mind their mental wellbeing and be able to contact qualified counsellors and experts in different fields such as financial planning, legal and career matters enabling expert advice and helping to manage personal issues they might be facing. Working in collaboration with our partner organisations and with the Department of Culture, Arts, Media, Tourism, Sport & the Gaeltacht we can now provide a comprehensive support structure for the entire  Irish creative sector.

Minding Creative Minds Wellbeing & Support programme (in association with Spectrum Life) now offers the following Wellbeing services to the entire Irish Creative Sector

  • 24/7 Dedicated Phone Line (Phone 1800 814 244) (Calling from NI /UK – 0800 0903677) (International 00353 15180277
  • Counselling Service (Short term intervention / Up to 6 Sessions)
  • Telephone Counselling 
  • Secure Video Counselling
  • Extensive Web Portal & App enabling live chat function with a counsellor                            

In addition to the mental health support system offered, Minding Creative Minds wishes to look at the whole individual resulting in the programme also offering access to a number of additional services structured to help users with various issues they may face such as:

  • Advice on practical, day-to-day issues that cause anxiety and stress
  • Legal Assistance for a range of issues
  • Financial Assistance & Consumer Advice
  • Career Guidance & Life Coaching
  • Support for Non-Irish Nationals & their families
  • Mediation for conflict resolution

 

Minding Creative Minds also held it’s first peer support ‘Meet & Greet’ meeting on December 1st and further meetings and supports for the sector will be rolled out over the coming months.

The Minding Creative Minds original funding partners are First Fortnight, IMRO (Irish Music Rights Organisation), IRMA (Irish Recorded Music Association), MCD Productions, RAAP (Recorded Artists, Actors & Performers), Universal Music Ireland, The BAI (Broadcasting Authority of Ireland) & KPMG.  This additional funding by The Department of Culture, Arts, Media, Tourism, Sport and the Gaeltacht is very welcome and now allows us to extend our services to the entire Irish creative community.

There has been a substantial uptake of users during the first six months of the Minding Creative Minds programme and of those who contacted the service 40% did so seeking mental health consultation with over 26% actually having either video or telephone counselling and over 34%% wanted practical advice (career guidance, financial assistance, legal assistance and life coaching) During the first three months since its launch 58% of those who have contacted the MCM are women.  46% of MCM’s users are based in Dublin, over 11% in Munster, 12% from Connacht, 5% from Ulster and there have been people contacting the service from London also.

The Irish Creative sector is expansive and diverse, below is a sample guide of sectors who can now utilise the services of Minding Creative Minds;

  • Music Sector; Musicians & Live Event Crew & other workers in the sector (to include bookers / music students & personnel involved in all forms of music including trad / jazz and opera)
  • Theatre; Actors, producers, writers, designers, arts administrators
  • Film; Actors, writers, designers & film crew
  • Visual Art & Street Art; Visual artists, photographers, painters, sculptors etc.
  • Dance; artists & arts administrators
  • Literature; writers, poets, spoken word artists, comedians
  • Journalists and TV personnel covering the arts,
  • Arts Centre Employees & Arts Venues, Performance Artists, Circus Performers

Thornton Pianos Present “The Superior Sessions”

The Superior Sessions launched in September 2020. With gigs being cancelled and venues all across the country having to close for a large part of 2020, The Superior Sessions provided a performance space for some of the best emerging and No. 1 selling musicians currently in Ireland. Recording live with the exceptional sound of Ritmüller pianos, we have put together an album, with support from the artists to raise funds for Minding Creative Minds. It is difficult at the best of times for musicians and creatives, we have seen first hand the effect the ongoing Covid related crises have had on artists and professionals in music this year. 100% of funds raised will be donated to MCM.

The album will be released on December 18th for €6.99 or higher through bandcamp. The album will also be available on popular streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music & Youtube Music.

Artists: Nathan Mac – Jacob Koopman – Muireann – Megan Burke – Gemma Cox – Colm Gavin

MCM to open up its services to the entire music sector

Minding Creative Minds (MCM), Ireland’s first 24/7 wellbeing support programme for the Irish Music community launched in June for artists, songwriters, music managers  and event sector personnel. We are now thrilled to open up Minding Creative Minds (MCM) to the entire music sector with immediate effect.   Whatever your role within the music sector, we are here for you.  For example; are you a musician, artist, songwriter, artist manager, event production crew, work in music PR, marketing, event management, music admin or live venue staff?  If you or someone you know in this sector is in need of emotional support or someone to talk with about financial, career or legal matters please log onto mindingcreativeminds.ie

Minding Creative Minds (MCM) is a 32 county and Irish overseas well-being support programme.  MCM had hoped to open its programme to the full music sector by its first anniversary in June 2021.  Being able to expand to the entire sector some nine months ahead of our original schedule is beyond our expectations and we can now offer more assistance especially at this time as our industry’s personnel is also trying to deal with additional issues directly related to Covid-19.   The fast forwarding of this expansion is only possible due to continued support from our funding partners and being chosen as a beneficiary of EPIC Working Group’s (www.epicwg.com) fundraising initiative, Songs From An Empty Room held in July and ongoing We Are The Support Act fundraising initiatives https://wearethesupportact.com

 

Of this expansion founder Dave Reid said, “We are delighted to announce the expansion of Minding Creative Minds which will give all musicians and people involved in all sectors of the Irish Music Sector the opportunity to mind their mental wellbeing and be able to contact qualified counsellors and experts in different fields such as financial planning, legal and career matters enabling expert advice and helping to manage personal issues they might be facing. Working in collaboration with our partner organisations we can now provide a credible support structure for the entire sector.

 

Musician and mental health advocate Niall Breslin (Bressie) says, “Music has always been the world’s greatest therapist, but sometimes those that provide such therapeutic comfort to others with their music, need some help of their own, and that’s why minding creative minds is so crucial “

 

Successful and respected singer, songwriter Gavin James says, “I am delighted to hear Minding Creative Minds (MCM) is now able to expand its services to all musicians and all people working in the full Irish Music Sector.  Minding Creative Minds (MCM) is a first of its kind for Ireland, it’s a free 24/7 wellness, counselling, financial and legal advice service.  Please make contact if you work in the music and live event sectors and need either emotional support or practical advice.  Minding Creative Minds is here for you and contacting them is easy, just log onto www.mindingcreativeminds.ie for all the details.”   

The Minding Creative Minds funding partners are First Fortnight (Lead Partner), IMRO (Irish Music Rights Organisation), IRMA (Irish Recorded Music Association), MCD Productions, RAAP (Recorded Artists, Actors & Performers), Universal Music Ireland and the BAI (Broadcasting Authority of Ireland)

There has been a substantial uptake of users during the first three months of the Minding Creative Minds programme and of those who contacted the service 40% did so seeking mental health consultation with over 26% actually having either video or telephone counselling and over 37% wanted practical advice (career guidance, financial assistance, legal assistance and life coaching) During the first three months since its launch 55% of those who have contacted the MCM are women.  47% of MCM’s users are based in Dublin, over 10% in Munster, 12%+ from Connacht, close on 5% from Ulster and there have been people contacting the service from London also.

“During these very challenging times for the Live events industry with no clear roadmap for recovery, the services offered by Minding Creative Minds will be essential to so many. We will continue to do everything we can to support this great initiative and to spread the word so that all live events personnel know they are not alone and that this free 24/7 wellness, counselling, financial and legal advice service is available to help them and give much needed support in the weeks and months ahead.  At a time when we are most disconnected we want to support those who help connect us the most.”  Kim O Callaghan MCD Project Manager & Deputy Event Controller

 

In a first of its kind for Ireland’s creative sector, Minding Creative Minds (MCM) is a free 24/7 wellbeing support programme for the Irish Music Sector, delivered by Spectrum Life.

 

  • First dedicated wellbeing support programme for the Irish Music Sector 
  • Assisting the creative community through COVID-19 challenges and beyond

MCM is a Mental Wellbeing Support Programme and will include access to the following Wellbeing services.

  • 24/7 Dedicated Phone Line (Phone 1800 814 244) (Calling from NI – 0800 0903677)
  • Counselling Service (Short term intervention / Up to 6 Sessions)
  • Telephone Counselling
  • Secure Video Counselling
  • Extensive Web Portal & App enabling live chat function with a counsellor

In addition to the mental health support system offered, Minding Creative Minds wishes to look at the whole individual resulting in the programme also offering access to a number of additional services structured to help users with various issues they may face such as:

  • Advice on practical, day-to-day issues that cause anxiety and stress
  • Legal Assistance for a range of issues
  • Financial Assistance & Consumer Advice
  • Career Guidance & Life Coaching
  • Support for Non-Irish Nationals & their families
  • Mediation for conflict resolution
  • “As musicians and writers, we have always been susceptible to the stresses and strains that are part and parcel of the challenging environment that we call the music industry, but never before have we faced the level of uncertainty that is now before us.  Creative people, by our nature, have a particular set of pressures that are specific to our work and our nature. This comprehensive programme is specifically designed to cater for these issues.  I have no doubt that this initiative will save lives.” –  Eleanor McEvoy, IMRO Chairperson.

 

“If ever there was a right time to offer support to people affected by the Covid 19 Pandemic that time is now. We at the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) are helping to fund this great Mental Health initiative ‘Minding Creative Minds’ and we hope it will assist people in the music Industry to deal with the issues of mental wellbeing.” Willie Kavanagh, Chairman of IRMA

 

“Musicians and members of the creative sector, with their particular professional pressures and community standing, are likely to be experiencing both good and bad days – there may be moments of clarity alongside moments when it all feels too much. ‘Minding Creative Minds’ is here to provide you with the support you need at the time you need it. Launching on June 1st, ‘Minding Creative Minds’ is an independent, confidential, complimentary mental health support that is accessible to members of the music sector and their dependants across Ireland, at any time of the day or night. We hope that knowing this support is here for you gives you some solace on both the good and bad days which may lie ahead” Emelina Ellis, Clinical Lead Spectrum Life

 

Minding Creative Minds would also like to thank the following individuals who were part of the advisory panel assembled to help make this programme a reality; Ken Allen, Manager of James Vincent McMorrow & IRMA Board Member, Lynne Best, Board Member Oh Yeah  Music Centre, Belfast, Bressie, Artist & Co-Founder A Lust for Life,  Louize Carroll, Artist & Occupational Psychologist, Emma Matthews, Board Member First Fortnight, Alan McEvoy, Music & Entertainment Accountant, Eleanor McEvoy, Artist / Chairperson of IMRO, Dr Eddie Murphy, Clinical Psychologist, Kim O’ Callaghan (MCD and EPIC Working Group), Emma Olohan, Fundraising & Sponsorship Executive, Willie Ryan, Music & Media Lawyer Aoife Ruth, Psychotherapist, Educator & Researcher, Gary Sheehan, Head of Programming NCH, Ann Marie Shields, Head of Careers, Industry & Events BIMM College, Jack Williamson, Founder & CEO Music And You.