First Fortnight is a charity-based organisation with the express aim of challenging mental health prejudice through the creative arts. We believe the arts allow us to create a space where people can talk about mental health issues in a non-scripted manner. Once that conversation has begun, we hope this will then help to change people’s perceptions about an issue that affects us all with one in four of us set to experience a mental health problem at some point in our lives. With that in mind, we hope to make the First Fortnight of each year synonymous with mental health awareness, challenging prejudice and ending stigma.
Founded in 2009, First Fortnight staged its first two-week arts festival in 2012. The charity has since become a mental health service provider with the establishment in 2013 of the First Fortnight Centre for Creative Therapies. The centre currently employs two psychotherapists providing art-therapy for individuals experiencing homelessness and mental ill-health in Dublin.