Men's mental health to the fore with upcoming arts event

An important event with an important message

Justin Kelly


Justin Kelly


Men's mental health to the fore with upcoming arts event

Men's mental health to the fore with upcoming arts event

Mojo, the male mental health collective, has announced their debut event, titled Mojo Rising, which will take place in Dublin each year on International Men’s Day, November 19 to raise awareness and funds for the much-needed service.

This highly anticipated event is being supported by acts such as Paddy Casey, Attention Bébé, dance act Lords of Strut, spoken word performer Emmet Kirwan, and DJ Nialler9.

Mojo was developed to respond to growing concerns about the level of male deaths by suicide in Ireland in 2011, and they offer services around Ireland, including Offaly. Find out more at

Mojo Rising will be an eclectic festival of the arts to support men facing mental health challenges and to celebrate International Men’s Day.

The vision behind the event is to create a space where people can come together, enjoy the very best of Irish talent and raise awareness and understanding of male mental health challenges.

The event will honour the 400 men who have participated in Mojo Programmes and will build awareness on behalf of the thousands of Irish men who remain at risk of suicide or self-harm. 

Mojo courses have succeeded in achieving a reduction in depression in 83% of the men. Mojo programmes enjoy an 86-90% retention rate with 70-76% of Mojo men continuing to work and education post-Mojo.

Mojo Programme Director and Co-Founder, Derek McDonnell said: “Music, dance, comedy and spoken word are each an expression of human emotions and a way to communicate and connect to others. The arts can be a vehicle for people to share how they are feeling and is often a great way to help people to learn to express themselves. We are absolutely delighted with the support we have received for this event so far which just reinforces our belief that there is a need for more creative ways to get the conversation of men’s mental health in the public domain."

“For us Mojo Rising is about highlighting the importance of men connecting men to keep them safe and to continue the conversation about what being a ‘real man’ is in Ireland today. Real men are emotional beings who can be vulnerable," he added.

"Irish society often reinforces the stereotype that men should be the strong silent type and that don’t show emotions – Boys Don’t Cry! It’s important for men to learn that just like physical health, there will be times in their lives where they’ll experience a dip in their mental health and its ok to ask for help when they need it."

"Learning to talk to family and friends about feelings takes time and practice, on Mojo we work creatively to provide space for men to do this. We work with men from all backgrounds to help them to help themselves and get back on their feet. These men have gone on to support other men, their friends, their families. This has a knock-on effect to wider society. It is 2017, it is time for a national conversation on what it means to be a man in Ireland today!”

Headline act Paddy Casey said, “International Men’s Day is a great opportunity to reignite the conversation of mental health stigma for men and to continue raising awareness of the important work Mojo does in addressing mental health challenges faced by men."

"Mojo Rising will see some of the very best performers in Ireland coming together to share in the celebration of Mojo Men. I am so excited to be involved in what is set to be a great festival and I encourage as many people as possible to support this extremely worthwhile event," the singer-songwriter added.

Also performing on the night is Mojo participant, Mike Bartlett, a former crewman and acclaimed musician, who said “I am thrilled as a musician, but more importantly as a Mojo Man, to take part in Mojo Rising this International Men’s Day."

"Having been involved in the music business all my life as music crew, depression and anxiety and all that goes with mental health issues took that away from me. Mojo Rising is a fantastic opportunity to give back to the people who helped me rebuild my own life. Everyone has their set-backs in life and when it happened to me I was lucky enough to encounter Mojo," he said.

"I am proud to be a Mojo Man, and Mojo Rising is going to be brilliant event with acts across the arts coming together to build an amazing atmosphere. I can’t wait to return to the stage for the first time in three years with original music where I’ll be joined by the guitarist from trailblazing rock group Groundburst, Phil Dunne, and share in this opportunity with everyone."

Mojo Rising will take place in Grand Social in Dublin on November 19. Doors open at 7.00pm. Tickets are €15 or €10 for Students, however as this is an inclusive event, there is an option to ‘pay what you can’, be it €2 or €5 by donating that amount on the Eventbrite page.

The Full line-up includes: Paddy Casey, Emmet Kirwan, Lord of Strut, Gaff E, Mother DJs, Nialler 9, Attention Bébé, Sally Cinnamon, Mike Bartlett, Eamonn Barrett, Joanne McNally, Stephen James Smith

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