Shannon native, Damian O’Rourke, is fusing the connection between music and mental health in his hometown through the Be Yourself annual concert.
This year, due to the recent enforcement of Level 3 Government restrictions, the concert which was supposed to take place on October 10th, World Mental Health Day 2020, will now take the form of a series of daily video interviews with musicians. The interviews, which will feature on Cuppa Tea TV’s Facebook page at 6pm each day until Saturday, will put the question to artists, ‘What impact does music have on your mental health?’
After a soccer career in League of Ireland and the United States concluded with injury, Damian discovered a deeper love and respect of musicians, feeling the urge to talk to them about their lyrics, questioning whether the words struck as deep a chord with their author as they did with him.
On the importance of music and mental health, Damian admits, “I always used it as a tool to get myself out of trouble. Music helps your state of mind, whether that’s playing an instrument or writing a song or listening to one. All their stories relate to how music has had a positive effect on their lives.”
Damian has confirmed that this year’s Be Yourself concert is postponed until the lifting of restrictions but urges everyone to keep an eye on the Facebook page for further updates. He believes that “big things are coming out of Covid-19 in relation to mental health. This is due to a lack of contact and socialising. People can use these daily videos as a tool, to lift themselves out of any little funk they may find themselves within.”
The line-up for the video series includes: Aoibh O’Reilly (Monday 5th October), Paul Dunworth (Tuesday 6th), Claire Castle (Wednesday 7th), Pat Byrne (Thursday 8th) and Muireann McDonnell (Friday 9th). The videos can be found at Cuppa Tea TV’s Facebook page.