Steps of Hope
Free Public Exhibition for People of Cork
Cork billboards paint picture of hope for mental health recovery
For the month of September, Shine Cork’s exhibit ‘Steps of Hope Cork’ will be displayed on billboards across the city. ‘Steps of Hope Cork’ is a collection of creative works by people who have experienced or are on their journey to mental health recovery. The pieces of art and writing express messages and images of hope about something that many people think is not possible – living well with and recovery from severe mental health experiences.
Covid-19 has significantly impacted our lives – from the places we visit, the people we meet, how we behave, to our awareness of our physical and mental health. In February, a Central Statistics Office survey found that 60% of people believe the pandemic had a negative impact on their mental health(1). Prior to this, Ireland already had one of the highest rates of mental illness in Europe(2) – ranked 3rd out of 36 countries with illnesses such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression and substance use disorder being relatively common(3). It is estimated that one in every four people will experience a mental health difficulty in their lifetime4 – meaning that it would affect all of us in some way, whether through direct experience or through supporting those we care about.
The discussion and public perceptions towards mental health have shifted towards more positive and accepting language, but a lot of misunderstanding and stigma still exist. Shine has been working with people experiencing mental ill health, and their families, for over four decades. Shine also runs See Change, an organisation whose vision is that of an Ireland where every person has an open and positive attitude to their own and others’ mental health. Every year, See Change runs the ‘Green Ribbon’ Campaign that aims to get as many people as possible talking about mental health to help end stigma and discrimination. Shine Cork’s exhibit ‘Steps of Hope Cork’ will link together with this year’s Green Ribbon campaign, which will also run for the month of September.
We are delighted to offer this exhibition to the people of Cork and hope it encourages them toward their own recovery. Corkonians and visitors to the city are encouraged to walk the 6km route (walking route map available for download at the bottom of this page).
Shine Cork present this exhibit in conjunction with Shine’s See Change Green ribbon launch and include works from our partner agencies, SMART Recovery, Gateway Project, Nasc and Cork Simon Community. This exhibition is a collaboration with Notes to Cork ‘Public Inspiration Panels’ (‘PIPs’) and Test Site on Kyrl’s Quay. This exhibition is made possible through funding from the National Lottery.
Follow Instagram @stepsofhopecork and #stepsofhopecork for updates.
Map created by talented local illustrator and multidisciplinary artist Annie Mar (Instagram @an_na_mar).
About Shine (est. 1979)
We are a national organisation providing information and support for people affected by mental health problems. We support individuals and families. We are the only national mental health organisation specifically founded to support all family members. We offer a range of free mental health support services including information and support on mental health and recovery planning and support. While many other mental health charities support mild to moderate mental health challenges, Shine (originally established as Schizophrenia Ireland) staff and peer led groups have a wealth of experience in supporting a multitude of severe mental health experiences. This includes supporting both people with self-experience and their families. Shine also run See Change and Headline. General enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
About See Change’s Green Ribbon Campaign
Every year, See Change roll out a month-long national Green Ribbon campaign to encourage as many people as possible to start talking about mental health and to help end mental health stigma and discrimination in Ireland.
The theme of Green Ribbon 2021 is ‘inclusion.’ Through weekly events, See Change will explore the topic of exclusion, where it shows up in society and what people can do to become more inclusive. You can pick up a Green Ribbon, which is an international symbol for starting conversations about mental health, at participating Boots stores, Eir Stores, Iarnród Éireann stations and AIB branches.
About Notes to Cork ‘PIP’
Throughout the course of the Covid-19 lockdowns, Notes to Cork has used its 200+ billboard sites around Cork city and suburbs to help foster community and care. Seeing the positive effect this had on the public, Notes to Cork is now fully committed to transform some of their advertising billboards from ‘Public Information Panels’, as they would traditionally be known, into ‘Public Inspirations Panels’ more affectionally known as ‘PIPs’. The PIPs are free spaces where optimism can be transformed into action, inspiration can out trump information and where the pip of an idea can sprout positivity and community connection. More information could be found on Notes to Cork Facebook page.
References for statistics included:
(2) https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/ireland-has-one-of-the-highest-rates-of-mental-health-illness-in-europe-report-finds-1.3707073 22 Nov 2018
(3) https://www.mentalhealthireland.ie/research/12/08/2021 11.54am