Foyle AMH New Horizons Helps Smash Stigma and Start Conversations at Show Stopper Purple Picnic 

On Wednesday May 11, AMH New Horizons, Foyle, chose Guildhall Square, Derry/ Londonderry as the venue for their Great Big Purple Picnic, to mark this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (9-15 May). Themed to combat loneliness, a cup of tea and a chat was the order of the day for this annual event. 

Northern Ireland Mental Health Champion, Professor Siobhan O’Neill, joined Colleen Harkin, Assistant Director of Western Trust Mental Health Services, David Babington, CEO Action Mental Health, Graham Warke, Mayor, Derry & Strabane District Council and colleagues from the local community mental health network to welcome and engage with visitors.

The event highlighted the 5 ways to well being through connecting, giving, learning, taking notice and being active, inviting participation through a number of unusual and thought-provoking activities, ranging from games to displays, three exhibitions and the famous book chair providing a perfect place for selfies.

AMH New Horizons Foyle promoted their ‘Don’t Lose Your Marbles’ game, a mini 9-hole golf game, taking players on a whistle stop tour of the city, while the AMH women’s group displayed a range of handcrafted items and knitted Ted Talk key rings were handed out. 

The ceramic ‘Seven Gates of the Walled City’ enhanced further debate and contemplation, alongside feted exhibited work from AMH resident artist, Pat Ross from his ‘Read Between the Lines’ and ‘Sugar Sandwich’ displays.

Pauline Flanagan, Service Manager was delighted with the success of the Purple Picnic event, commenting, “All exhibitions and activities from the event are available free to local employers & community settings to host. Hosting an exhibition or activity will help start conversations around mental health and how to maintain it, smash stigma.  Adding, Book a show stopper for your workplace wellbeing day and use this opportunity to raise much need funds for AMH Foyle.”  

AMH New Horizons support the recovery of adults experiencing mental ill health who are interested in progressing towards further education, training or employment. Clients take part in a range of courses, from therapeutic classes like arts and crafts, to accredited training and work placements through the “Working it Out” project. Working it Out is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020, the Department for the Economy and the five NI Health & Social Care Trusts. 

For further information on AMH New Horizons Foyle services call 028 7137 3502.

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