- 10 Oct 23
In a series of mental health specials in recent years, Hot Press has sought to highlight and further the understanding of this enormously important subject. It is an area that has only come more to the fore in the music industry, and the creative sector in general, with an increasing number of musicians and artists speaking out about their experiences. But with such a complex and layered topic, there is always more to discuss. In our new Mental Health Special, we hear from a selection of Irish artists, who fill us in on their experiences and share their ideas for growing the discussion.
"What I think has been incredible over the last couple of years, specifically as an Irish person, is that the conversation has really opened up. Growing up in Ireland, when I was trying to come out or when I was being bullied, everything was swept under the rug. Especially in an Irish family, it was like, ‘Let’s not speak about it.’
"When I was trying to come out, it was so difficult - people couldn’t even say the word gay, and that affected me quite badly. A lot of Irish people have that culture of not speaking about their emotions and sweeping things under the rug. There’s a lot of sexual shame in Ireland, but what’s been incredible with this current generation is people are finally starting to talk about it.
"Hearing some of my friends speak so openly – we'd be going go for lunch, and you might say, ‘What are you doing after this?’ ‘Oh, I’m going to therapy.’ That would not have happened 5 or 10 years ago. I just started therapy. I lost my dad a few months ago, and I realised I just didn’t have the coping skills. And when I said it to my friends, a lot of them were like, ‘Oh yeah, we’re in therapy!’ Wow. Okay!
"We need to be transparent about everything, whether it’s sexuality or mental health. I think for the younger generation, as many issues as social media does have, it has also helped in a lot of ways, because we’ve probably been able to see and have more conversations with people from different countries and cultures. It’s changed our way of thinking and our language.
"So I think as a nation, the conversation is going in the right direction. And the stigma is definitely going away."
Read the full Mental Health Special in the current issue of Hot Press: