All posts by actionmentalhealth

Coastlines, Country & Creatures

Louise O’Donnell presents “Coastlines, Country & Creatures” in association with AMH.  The exhibition will be on show at Clotworthy House, Antrim from 9th – 13th October 2017.

Louise ‘Fifties’ O’Donnell is an illustrator, graphic designer and DJ from the Ballymena area. Scribbling and drawing since she could hold a pencil, her love for all things creative was apparent from a very young age.

After 20 years of honing her skills, she graduated with a BA Hons in illustration at Lincoln University (De Montford) (2000 – 2003). From here, she gained experience as a graphic designer working at a local newspaper and reading the photoshop manual in her spare time to expand her knowledge. Fast forward a year and Louise got her first studio job, at the same time gaining popularity as a freelancer DJ on the local club scene. Soon she supporting artists across the UK including Basement Jaxx, and Radio 1’s Andy George and Jaymo.

In 2008, her circumstances changed and she decided to move back to Northern Ireland. These events took a toll on her mental health and she became unwell, finding herself in Holywell intensive care with symptoms of schizophrenia. With no access to computers or internet, she regained her love for painting and drawing, inspired by plants and flowers. It gave her a spark of hope where there wasn’t much at all.

All the works in the exhibition, feature Louise’s return to her roots and her fondness for the medium of acrylics and pen.  ‘Coastlines, Country and Creatures’ celebrates her love of wildlife and landscapes in Co.Antrim and beyond. Despite many setbacks over the years with both her mental and physical health, Louise’s music, art and design work is what has pulled her through times of trouble. She now volunteers at Holywell, and also attends AMH New Horizons Antrim where the peer support and excellent courses have helped aid her return to health. She is also a WRAP facilitator at the Recovery College.

The Mayor of Antrim & Newtownabbey Council, Paul Hamill will officially open Louise O’Donnell’s art exhibition, Coastlines, Country and Creatures at 11.00am on Monday 9 October as part of our activities to mark WMHD.

AMH New Horizons Antrim is part-funded by the NI ESF Programme 2014-2020 and the Department for the Economy.

AMH Artists Exhibit at Sunburst

To celebrate World Mental Health Day artists from AMH New Horizons North Down & Ards will be exhibiting their work in the Sunburst Gallery in Ards Arts Centre from Friday 6th – Saturday 28 October 2017.

The AMH Working it Out programme offers vocational training, personal development and employment support for those recovering from mental ill health. Creative classes offer individuals the space to engage with inspirational ideas and skills, leading to a new perspective on themselves, their abilities and potential to explore fresh directions in the future.

The exhibition of works includes photography, print and glass pieces which showcase the client’s creative talents and reflects the new and changing perspectives of each artist.

Working it Out is part-funded by the NI ESF Programme 2014-2020 and the Department for the Economy.

Art Music & Fun with AMH Derriaghy

AMH New Horizons Derriaghy will be hosting a special event on 12th October in the Island Arts Centre in Lisburn.

Clients from the Derriaghy service will be showcasing their art in an exhibition to celebrate World Mental Health Day.

The exhibition will be officially opened at 11am.  AMH’s Ukulele Band will be joined by special guests Belfast Ukejam.

Please come along!  RSVP  T 028 9062 9759

This project is part-funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020 and the Department for the Economy.


AMH New Horizons celebrate 25 years in Fermanagh

Staff old and current, at AMH New Horizons in Newry and Mourne celebrate 25 years of the vital community service.

Clients and staff from Action Mental Health (AMH) New Horizons were celebrating recently with a BBQ in the Serenity Garden at their base in Enniskillen.

AMH New Horizons Fermanagh was established in 1991 and was initially based in Enniskillen town centre. In 1992 the service relocated to its current site in Cherrymount Road, Drumcoo, Enniskillen.

AMH New Horizons Fermanagh works in the community to improve the health and well-being of people, changing the lives of those living with mental ill-health and promoting resilience and well-being. Action Mental Health has grown to be the largest mental health charity in Northern Ireland.

The project is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020 and the Department for the Economy, and the Western Health and Social Care Trust. The development of the Serenity Garden was taken forward by the Time Out Programme funded by the Big Lottery through the Western Regional Alcohol Programme.

Caroline Ferguson, Service Manager, has been with AMH New Horizons Fermanagh since it first opened its doors.

Reflecting on the past 25 years Caroline said: “It’s wonderful to reflect back on the past 25 years and to see how the service has grown and developed. We opened our doors here in 1991 with 12 clients and today we have more than 150 people availing of our services though AMH New Horizons and the Men’s Shed.

“Our staff team, several of whom have been with us since 1991, are enthusiastic and excited about continuing to deliver high quality, innovative programmes to local people.”

If you are interested in finding out more about New Horizons Fermanagh go to or call 028 6632 3630.

Axiom’s ballot cash boost for Action Mental Health

Axiom raises vital funds for Action Mental Health

John Mallon, (right) Axiom’s Vice President of Client Service Operations, Europe, Orla Harris, (centre) Manager of Facilities and Procurement, Europe, present their cheque to Callum Clark, AMH Fundraising Officer.

A global legal firm’s Belfast office has raised vital funds for Action Mental Health (AMH), by donating the proceeds of its annual summer ballot to the charity. The legal services firm, based in Belfast, raised £498 for AMH through its annual summer ballot which was this year held at Riddell Hall, and which also featured a family fun day. A number of local businesses donated a range of generous prizes for the ballot in support of the cause.

The theme of this year’s eight week Programme was ‘Give My Head Peace’. The title was selected to help make the serious issue of mental health more approachable and engaging for team members. The ballot followed the firm’s recent participation in two Action Mental Health initiatives –Personal Resilience Training and Mental Health First Aid, two wide-reaching schemes designed to address mental health among the community.

The two schemes were delivered by AMH Works, a mental health training consultancy service which provides quality mental health training programmes across Northern Ireland for employers to support healthy, resilient workplaces.

Orla Harris, Axiom Manager of Real Estate & Facility Operations, explained the benefits AMH has introduced to the workforce. “We want team members to have the skills to not only recognise stress but to have the tools and support to manage it,” she said.

“We chose AMH because they have a local understanding of mental health issues in Northern Ireland. AMH also offered tried and tested solutions to meet our needs, like the Personal Resilience Training and Mental Health First Aid.

“These options were presented in a very informative and engaging way so it was an easy decision for us to proceed with AMH as our beneficiary.”

Some 73% of Axiom staff participated in the voluntary Personal Resilience training, learning techniques to identify and tackle stress, including an introduction to mindfulness training. Management say they’ve already seen the difference the programme has made on employees, with feedback being described as ‘extremely positive’. As a result, mindfulness sessions have continued to take place twice a week on site, while three yoga classes each week have also been introduced for staff.

Employees have even been given the chance to express themselves creatively, being offered new writing sessions – ‘Write to Awaken’. AMH’s influence has further prompted Axiom to continue to offer similar support in the future, with four members of staff being trained in Mental Health First Aid.


AMH BBC Appeal

The BBC NI Community Life appeal featuring Action Mental Health was broadcast on Sunday – 3rd September – at 3.15pm on BBC One and was repeated on Monday at 11.50pm BBC One and Wednesday at 1pm on BBC Two.

The AMH Comms Team spent two full days with the BBC in our Fermanagh service filming a range of activities and interviewing lots of our clients from New Horizons, The Boost Project, The Men’s Shed and the Warrior Women project! We also filmed our MensSana team working with pupils from Holy Trinity Primary School and Enniskillen Royal Grammar School. Father Brian D’Arcy, a friend and supporter of AMH very kindly agreed to appear as our host.

If  you missed it or wish to see it again – here it is !!

AMH main TV appeal from Iain Webster on Vimeo.

Many thanks to everyone who took part and to the team in Fermanagh who were so welcoming.  Many thanks to the pupils and staff of Holy Trinity and the Enniskillen Royal Grammar School.

Call for Granite Challenge Volunteers

AMH is recruiting volunteers for the annual Granite Challenge taking place on Sunday 8 October.

The Granite Challenge is a 55 mile cycle starting in Downpatrick.

There are a number of volunteer roles available:

  • Road marshalls, Downpatrick, 8.45 – 11.00am
  • Tea stop volunteers, Spelga Dam, 9.00am – 3.00pm
  • Registration volunteers, AMH New Horizons Downpatrick, 7.30 – 10.30am
  • Lunch volunteers, AMH New Horizons Downpatrick, 10.00am – 4.00pm

If you’re interested contact our Fundraising Team, E: or T: 028 9182 8494

AMH New Horizons Newry & Mourne Annual Charity Walk

Thank you to everyone who participated in the annual charity walk in aid of AMH New Horizons Newry & Mourne.

Thanks to all the stewards, sponsors and especially walkers of all ages.

The weather was favourable, the craic was good and the scenery along the Omeath to Carlingford Greenway breathtaking!

The team in Newry are delighted with the money raised from the walk – over £2,000 to date, with further sponsorship money to be added

Once again a big thank you from all at AMH New Horizons Newry & Mourne.