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Celebration of Mental Health Night

July 7th, 2019 11:50 AM

By Southern Star Team

Members of Bantry Community Choir, Bantry Community Band and Singers, with HSE and WCDP personnel at the recent Celebration of Mental Health Night at the Maritime Hotel, Bantry.

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An evening of entertainment took place recently in the Maritime Hotel, Bantry to celebrate the wonderful work being carried out in the community and especially at No. 49, North Street, Skibbereen in the promotion of positive mental health in the West Cork area.

No. 49, which is an initiative of Cork Mental Health Services and the H.S.E., aims to create a space where learning, therapeutic activities, creative expression and diversity can flourish. It’s about building on people’s strengths and working together to create a community where recovery and wellbeing can thrive.                                                                                     

The evening began with the screening of ‘An Open Door’, a short film by Aoise Tutty, which was funded by Cork and Kerry Community Healthcare Mental Health Services. The film was followed by a performance of a set of well-chosen songs by Bantry Community Choir under the direction of Susan McManamon. This was a day of mixed emotions for choir members who had just lost a valued choir member in Jane McLeod Keenan (RIP) from Durrus who had died that morning. The performance on the night was dedicated to her memory.

The choir works in close cooperation with West Cork Mental Health Services and West Cork Development Partnership and meets every Thursday night in the Maritime Hotel at 7.30pm.

The newly formed Bantry Community Band and Singers then took the stage for another uplifting session of music and song singing. The band was set up last September by Fergal Conlon of West Cork Development Partnership, Peter Carney and Nora Edgeworth to meet the challenges of musicians and singers who don’t get an opportunity to play and sing and to cater for people with special needs who can also feel excluded. This group rehearses in the Bantry Boys’ Club on Thursday mornings between 10.30am and 12.30pm and welcomes anybody who plays an instrument or just enjoys all genres of singing. It’s open to all from 18 years upwards and is free of charge.                                 

A special presentation was then made to Nora Edgeworth in recognition of her advocacy work and her promotion of initiatives to bring about positive mental health in the wider community. Personnel from HSE in attendance on the night were Aidan McCarthy, Assistant Director of Nursing and Community services for West Cork, Rory Doody, HSE Link Mental Health services and Dr. Joan Murphy Snr. Health lecturer in Mental Health, IT Tralee. The Choir, Band and Singers then combined to conclude a most heart-raising and thought-provoking night of entertainment.

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