Healthy Mind

Peachy keen: a mental health project with a difference

Life is Peachy. So goes that old mantra we use to ward off bad feelings, combat distress and, in effect, put to bed the thoughts we think that nobody wants to hear. 
Rebecca Bermingham’s latest project, which is aptly titled Peachy, sets out to destroy this mind-set as she hopes to attract pedestrians in Dublin to scribble down their bad thoughts and throw them anonymously into a message box, in aid of mental health charity Aware. 
Artists from around Ireland will transform these thoughts as part of an exhibition taking place over three days, while pedestrians and passers-by will be filmed throughout March as they interact with the message box. 
“The whole point of Peachy is to find out what’s inside the heads of people you pass every day. In the city people can feel alienated, it’s about finding some unifying tie and making people feel a little less alone,” Bermingham says. 
The artistic re-imagination of these thoughts will be placed side by side with the original scraps of paper in order to show  how we underestimate our everyday grumblings. Nearly forty artists have signed up to bring these thoughts to life.
“It’s really great to work on something with people just for the love of it. We’re working basically 24 hours a day but it’s something that I’m really passionate about. “
The art aspect is one of the most important parts of the project she says. “We want to show these thoughts in a beautiful way, for a change.”
“We’ve a huge list of artists all of whom are working for free.  I think it says something about the prevalence of people looking for a reform in mental health and how important the message is. People want to get involved for that reason.”
Bermingham studied Media Arts and French in DIT, creating her biggest success to date, Capturing Our Capital, while studying. This film, which is also in the style of observational documentary, features as in-flight entertainment aboard Aer Lingus and was selected for multiple film festivals around Ireland. 
“With all the work I do, I try to make it as little manipulative as possible. That’s something we want to carry on because we think it’s one of the truest forms of documentary, letting the narrative be driven by the people.” 
Peachy are currently crowd funding for the project through Kickstarter. They’ve raised nearly €3,000 already, with the aim of €4,000 to be met by March 17th. 
“Everyone involved in the project has another job as well. It’s basically twenty four hours a day at the minute, we’re waiting on the kickstarter to get funded, so it’s tough because I feel like the work never ends.” 
An exhibition of the finished pieces will take place on the 14th, 15th and 16th of May in Temple Bar Art Gallery with all proceeds from the three-day run going to Aware Ireland, an organisation which helps people suffering with depression.

Check out Peachy’s Facebook page or donate to them here.