Artists and Academics Come Together to Mark World Mental Health Day

Artists and Academics Come Together to Mark World Mental Health Day

The Movies in Mind Festival is a brand new initiative funded by Ulster University and delivered by the School of Arts and Humanities (Cinematic Arts and Drama) at the Magee Campus in partnership with the Nerve Centre. Taking place across Tuesday 9 and Wednesday October 10, the festival will feature live music, film screenings, discussion panels and creative arts workshops; all themed on the link between mental health and wellbeing and how creative arts are raising awareness and providing positive intervention.

Programme of Events

Tuesday October 9 at 7pm

Movies in Mind opens in the Nerve Centre with a special fifth anniversary performance from Six Strings & Stigma. The Six Strings & Stigma album launched in 2013 and is inspired by the true stories of local people struggling with their mental health. The evening will feature live music from Ruairi O’Doherty, Jeannette and Noella Hutton, Paddy Nash, John Deery, Decky McLaughlin and Roy Arbuckle. Barry McGale from Suicide Bereavement UK will open the event. Tickets are free but booking is essential.


Paddy Nash & the Happy Enchiladas - Seized

Recorded for the album Six Strings & Stigma. Purchase it on Amazon or iTunes.


Wednesday October 10, 10.30am – 3pm

Nerve Centre will host leading academic researchers, creative arts practitioners and local youth and mental health support services as part of the Movies in Mind discussion and screening event. Professor Siobhan O’Neill, Professor of Mental Health Sciences at Ulster University and leading authority on trauma and mental health, will deliver the keynote address: 'Mental Health in Northern Ireland and What We Can Do To Help'. Dr Lisa Fitzpatrick, Senior Lecturer in Drama, will discuss emerging collaborations in arts and health research at Ulster University in her presentation: 'Research and Impact at Ulster (Creative Arts and Health/Wellbeing)'. John Peto, Director of Education at the Nerve Centre will speak about a range of creative media programmes in the Nerve Centre and their impact in his talk: 'The Nerve Centre and Mental Wellbeing, from Awareness Raising to Therapeutic Intervention'.

A range of mental health focused short film made by BFI Film Academy, local youth organisations and from filmmaker John Deery (Cinematic Arts PhD Candidate at Ulster University) will be screened in the morning and afternoon whilst panel discussions on how creative arts can be used to tackle mental health issues will be facilitated by Dr Victoria McCollum, Lecturer in Cinematic Arts, Professor Siobhan O’Neill, Tom Bradley (Samaritans NI) and Emma Johnston (Youth Action Northern Ireland).

Wednesday October 10, 3pm – 4pm

A series of Creative Arts Workshop sessions, with a focus on mental health and wellbeing, will be available to participate in, ranging from music and comedy to cinematic arts. Roy Arbuckle will focus on how voice is breath and breath is life in his Music and Mindfulness Workshop. The workshop is open to everyone and will show participants how to connect to your breath and your voice with a few simple exercises.

Feeling Funny (Comedy for Connection and Confidence) is delivered by local artist Sorcha Shanahan who forms one half of the Makeyuppers. The workshop will be a fun and playful exploration looking at how play, games and having fun can reconnect us to ourselves and others.

Cinematic Arts and Drama PhD candidates from Ulster University will also screen a range of short films including Quiet, a story of economic uncertainty, by playwright and filmmaker Don McCamphill, Far From the Reach of the Sun, an LGBT/queer short, by Dublin visual artist Kevin Gaffney, and new work, on conflict and identity, by award-winning Iranian video artist Hamideh Javadi Bejandi.

Movies in Mind is supported by a range of local charities and mental health service organisations on the day including Youth Action Northern Ireland, Samaritans Derry, Foyle Search & Rescue, Men's Action Network, Lifeline, Aware and more to be announced.

Information on support and services will be available on the day and representatives from a variety of charities will be there to hear from and speak to anyone about what services are on offer to support mental health locally.

Wednesday 10th October 4pm – 10pm

Ones to Watch at the Nerve Centre, supported by Foyle Film Festival, close Movies in Mind on Wednesday 10th October with a curated programme of film screenings around mental health themes running in Nerve Centre Cinemas from 4pm – 10pm.


4pm: Boy Interrupted

(Screened with the kind permission of Perry Films Inc.)

Evan Perry, a 15-year-old boy from New York died by suicide in 2005. This film made by his parents Dana and Hart, examines how Evan’s bipolar disorder and depression affected his life and the life of his family.

USA. 2009. Cert. 15. RT: 92 mins

Book here.


6pm: A Girl Like Her

(Screened with the kind permission of Parkside Releasing & Radish Creative)

Jessica Burns enlists the help of her best friend Brian in order to document the relentless harassment she’s received from her former friend Avery Keller, one of South Brookdale High Schools most popular students.

USA. 2015. PG-13. RT: 91mins

Book here.


8pm: Silver Linings Playbook

After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.

USA. 2012. Cert.15. RT: 122 mins

Book here.


Dr Victoria McCollum, Lecturer in Cinematic Arts at Ulster University, said: 'Movies in Mind is inspired by the foundation of high quality research being conducted within the Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies research unit at Ulster University (Magee) as well as the impact and reach that film and digital media projects from organisations like the Nerve Centre can have on positive mental health and wellbeing. The event aims to challenge, touch and inspire audiences from all walks of life and will provide a shared space whereby academics, creatives, health and wellbeing organisations and the public are united by their desire to contribute to social change.'

Movies in Mind Mental Health Film Festival takes place on Tuesday 9 and Wednesday October 10 at the Nerve Centre. Tickets to all events are free but BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL. To confirm your place at any of the events, please visit: or telephone 028 71260562.