- 27 Sep 19
We invited a chorus of artists, writers, musicians, broadcasters, sports stars and more to contribute to Now We’re Talking, a mental health campaign, run in partnership with Lyons Tea and Pieta House.
James Sheeran (pictured second from left)
I wrote our song ‘Black Dog’ after a friend of mine died by suicide. We played GAA together for years and I’d never realised what he was going through. He was always in good form, having a laugh. I think it came as a massive shock for nearly everyone who knew him to discover he’d had these struggles for years. In the end, they got the better of him. “Where are you gone to my old friend/ Could you not see me here/ Open arms if you wanted them/ The darkness is too empty/ Don’t fill it with your soul/ The black dog overthrows.”
The most important thing when dealing with mental health issues is that you have to identify and recognise what’s going on in your own head. Then you can go looking for solutions. Sometimes you don’t feel capable and that’s okay too. In your teens or your early twenties, you’re struggling so much to find an identity and a place in the world, that these knocks you get along the way can really bounce you off course.
Negative feelings tend to make you feel isolated, but it’s a natural experience. The most important is not to ignore them, because if you just try to run away from it all the time, it’s going to come back and bite you. You can’t just let the negativity fasten inside you – you’ve got to find an outlet for it; whether it’s music or making something, writing something or playing sport. That’s what I did anyway and I think it worked. Just feeling that you’re doing something turns a negative into a positive.
• Black Bank Folk’s debut album Rising is out now.
Now We're Talking 2019
A partnership between Lyons Tea, Pieta House & Hot Press.
Let’s break the stigma and take the dialogue about mental health issues onto a new level
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