Irish mental health festival confirms ambitious plans for year ahead at House of Commons event

Irish mental health festival confirms ambitious plans for year ahead at House of Commons event

THE organisers of an Irish-founded mental health festival in London have confirmed their plans for the year ahead at a special event held in Westminster.

Shout Celebration - the organisation responsible for the for Shout London: Ashford Place Mental Health Film & Arts Festivals - held a reception at the House of Commons to announce their plans for 2024.

The event, whose guests included members of the House of Lords, politicians, councillors and Shout stakeholders and performers, was hosted by Dawn Butler.

Ms Butler, who is the MP for London’s Brent Central, welcomed the guests and thanked both the Shout and Ashford Place organisations for their work in the community.

During the event, Ashford Place’s CEO Danny Maher spoke of the success of the Shout London, which is now in its second year.

Following the success of this year’s Shout London event the organisation has confirmed they will extend the festival in 2024 to include Shout Liverpool and Shout Belfast, with more cities to follow.

Pictured at the House of Commons, (l-r) Carey Fitzgerald, Danny Maher, Sacha Wood, Michelle Collins, Dawn Butler MP, Anne Clarke, the London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden and Krupesh Hirani, London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow (Pic: Dominique Murphy-de Neef)

Singer songwriter Sacha Wood, who performed at the 2023 event, spoke of her mental health journey at the House of Commons gathering.

She told of the “feeling of empowerment” she got when she performed and expressing herself at Shout London earlier this year, where she discussed publicly, for the first time, her lived experience with Depersonalisation Disorder.

Carey Fitzgerald, who is the Chair of Ashford Place and Festival Director of Shout, thanked the performers and contributors as well as the Embassy of Ireland, Tokyo Marine and the UK Arts Council for their continued support for the festival.

Also attending the Westminster event was Shout patron, the actor Michelle Collins, as well as actress, comedian and writer Brenda Gilhooly, actress, writer, choreographer Maria McAteer and film-maker Melanie Manchot.

Next year, Shout Liverpool is planned for March, Shout Belfast will take place in the Summer and Shout London will return for its third year in October, to coincide with World Mental Health Day.