Reasons to Stay Alive!
July 7, 2019
We are delighted to have been awarded funding from South Antrim Community Network to raise awareness and continue support of mental health. Our funding this year allows us to enhance our peer support groups with beneficial support materials, including the immensely inspirational Matt Haig book, “Reasons to Stay Alive”. To support our attendees’ well-being, we are also giving away some stunning little Metal for Life branded notebooks and pens, perfect for keeping journals, notes or reminders. There are lots of other freebies, too!
Our Matt Haig / Metal for Life packs are only available to peer support group members, so be sure to join us at one of our upcoming sessions. If you haven’t registered already, please contact us. 🤘
Raising awareness at Antrim Grammar
September 17, 2019
We all have mental health and therefore anyone has the possibility of having mental ill health. Gillian was at Antrim Grammar School this week talking about suicide awareness and prevention, supportive ideas for those who are struggling with mental ill health and how we can all help people who are struggling. Key points were:
• Mental ill health can happen to anyone and is very often treatable and recoverable
• We all need to start respecting it and handling it in the same way as physical illness
• There are lots of ways a person can take small positive steps to improving their mental health
• Support is available in many forms: medical, professional, charity, voluntary organisations, family and friends
• We can all learn how to support others who need help with their mental health.
• It’s never too late to start down the road to recovery.
We would like to thank Mr McKee and the staff and students at Antrim Grammar for helping us raise awareness of mental ill health. It’s great to see the school take mental health and suicide prevention seriously by building it into their Learning for Life programme. Let’s hope it is the first of many opportunities to talk and learn how we can improve mental health for everyone.🤘❤️
30th World Congress of the International Association for Suicide Prevention
17 September, 2019
Metal for Life NI Trustee Chris Mulholland will be attending the 30th World Congress of the International Association for Suicide Prevention this week, along with Families Voices Forum. This is a fantastic opportunity for Chris to meet up with experts and those with lived experience, through a 5-day programme of keynote sessions, presentations, workshops, posters, exhibitors and discussions.
We’d like to wish Chris and all other delegates all the best this week, in what will be an emotive congress but one filled with hope. Good luck, everyone!
Mental Health Podcast - Talking Bollocks with H from Acid Reign
30 August, 2019
We’re delighted to share this with you today! It’s is a mental health special Talking Bollocks podcast by Howard Smith, H from Acid Reign, who talks passionately and expressively about mental health. H has collected together some honest and inspiring conversations about important issues with musicians; Jason from Akercocke (00:04:00) and Ol Drake from EVILE (01:29:00).
Gillian and Gareth from Metal for Life NI have a fantastic chat with H about some of the things that matter to us, how to get support for your mental health and how we can help each other out (from 00:38:00 minutes).
Please also have a listen to Paul McMonnies talking from 02:01:00 about Dani, Bloodstock Festival and Metal for Life, along with the great service that the Samaritans provide in helping callers and also supporting their volunteers. It’s a long recording, but honestly, it’s incredibly inspiring to hear these guys talking about their own experiences and we urge you to give it a listen and share it, too 🤘
We have a lot of love and respect for H and are really looking forward to meeting him along with Acid Reign in Voodoo, Belfast, 8th December.
Please note: Metal for Life NI is constituted and listed as a Charity, pending approval from the Charity Commission 😀
Also note: We refer to the Lifeline throughout this interview, which is only available in Northern Ireland. There are many incredibly supportive organisations and groups throughout the UK and Ireland. Wherever you are, if you need help finding support, give us a shout and we’ll try our best to help you.
Remember, as Paul says in the podcast (02:24:50), services like Lifeline and Samaritans are not just for people who are suicidal. They are confidential, impartial, listening services, even for people who are just having a bad day, and also for people who are concerned about someone else.
Don’t leave it too late ❤️🤘
Bluebird Counselling NI
May 19, 2019
Bluebird Counselling NI, run by Joanne Hudson, is offering a discount on private counselling for members of Metal for Life NI.
As well as being a friend and colleague of Metal for Life NI, Joanne is highly qualified and experienced, approachable and non-judgemental. We cannot recommend her enough.
If you or someone you know is interested in one-to-one counselling, please contact Joanne for more information. 🤘
Metal for Life NI at Bloodstock
August 10, 2019
What a huge success the Bloodstock Festival has been for Metal for Life! The organisation and effort put into this festival is exceptional. We are eternally grateful to Simon Hall for having us over, for all the love and support, and for looking after the team so well, along with the amazing Newblood crew. Thanks also to Paul McMonnies for his support along with the Bloodstock crew and security teams. We are immensely grateful to all the bands who supported us and called to see us throughout the weekend, including all our mighty local friends: Special thanks also to Countless Skies and Evil Scarecrow for their love and support.
Huge thanks to every single Bloodstocker who offered support, donated or bought merch! Your support helps to keep fighting the stigma around mental illness. Please keep spreading the word about Metal for Life by sharing us on social media and telling your mates. It could make a massive difference to someone's life. We salute you all and hope to see you again 🤘
Gillian and Ahti also acknowledge the outstanding efforts of the Metal for Life NI volunteers throughout the festival. The weekend was a massive success and that is down to 4 stellar people: Joanne Hudson, Neal McMenamin, Gareth Ruddock and Chris Mulholland. It took huge commitment to move all our gear across the water, keeping everything secure and well organised. These guys have the compassion and dedication to represent our fight against mental illness and we couldn't ask for a better team. They are an absolute pleasure to work with.
We are also indebted to everyone who took the time to remember Dani and the tragic reason why Metal for Life exists. Your love and support give us the determination to help people when they need it most. Thank you all so much. Metal for Life ❤️🤘
Celebrating 10 years with By Any Means
July 26, 2019
What a fantastic turnout to celebrate 10 years of riffs with 3 great sets from Gravepath , No Great Loss and the mighty By Any Means. We'd like to thank Paul and the BAM guys for generously allowing us to fund-raise and to everyone who donated and bought merch, raising a staggering sum to help support our cause. Thanks for a great night, everyone. Here's to the next 10 years 🤘❤️
Metal for Life NI Annual General Meeting
July 6, 2019
It was a big day for the Metal for Life Trustees. Being able to hold our first Annual General Meeting was a massive step for us and we were delighted to be able to share what we have done over the last year with our members. We hope that our presentation instilled confidence in how we run our charity, showing our passion and our commitment to providing the best possible service we can. Here are some of the slides we presented today.
In the short time that we have been around, it has been great to see many people making positive changes in their lives and it’s been a privilege to walk with them and help even in some small way.
On behalf of us all at Metal for Life NI, thank you all for your support and encouragement. Here’s to more support groups, gigs and events.
Metal for Life! ❤️🤘
Antrim Festival 2019
June 9, 2019
It was a pleasure to share the afternoon with many fantastic organisations at Antrim Summer Festival 2019 - Mental Health, all passionate about raising awareness and supporting mental health. It was great to connect with South Antrim Community Network, The Northern Region Recovery College, AYICC - Antrim Youth Information & Counselling Centre, FOCUS - Focusing On Community & Understanding Suicide Fresh Minds Education, Breathe Yoga & Therapies, The Northern Trust Bereaved By Suicide Service and the PSNI. We would like to thank Richard, Alan, Matthew and all at The Antrim Festival Group and another huge thanks to Amber Catering & Cakes for the fabulous Metal for Life NI cupcakes, which weren't too long in disappearing 😁🤘
Botanic Gardens Day
June 1, 2019
The Metal for Life Support group was held in the sunny and beautiful Botanic Gardens, Belfast, this week. A great chance for new people to come along and meet us!
Self Esteem Workshop
September 14, 2019
Metal for Life NI were delighted to host an incredibly inspiring and positive workshop on self esteem by Joanne Hudson of Bluebird Counselling NI. The workshop and discussion time was very stimulating and thought provoking, and was of great benefit to all who came along. Keep a look out for more great workshops in the near future.
Metal 2 The Masses Final 2019 - Belfast
May 18, 2019
It was a privilege to be part of the Metal 2 the Masses Northern Ireland - the GRAND Final! What a fantastic community we have here, with huge support for all of the bands, the scene in general, and also for Metal for Life NI. Congratulations to Lock Horns who are on their way to Bloodstock Festival after some very tough competition from the other bands. We are very grateful to James Loveday at The Distortion Project for all he does to keep the metal scene in NI well and truly alive. Thanks to Bloodstock's Simon Hall for supporting our cause and to everyone who bought our merch, donated and talked to us about supporting mental health. Awesome 🤘🖤
Bloodstock Radio Podcast
June 14, 2019
Check out our interview with the masterful Paul McMonnies in podcast #76 on Bloodstock Radio : Official BOA Podcast. It was a pleasure to speak to Paul about mental illness and the support we offer in Metal for Life NI. It's also fantastic to see Bloodstock Festival maintaining a firm grip on mental health awareness and support. Awesome work, guys!
Northern Trust Recovery College - free courses to promote mental health and wellbeing
September 23, 2019
The Northern Region Recovery College has a great selection of free courses running in term time throughout the year. Courses are FREE and focus on recovery and self-management skills. Their new prospectus is available at the link below.
NOTE: Other Northern Ireland HSC Trusts have similar recovery colleges and more info can be found on-line.
Metal for Life with The Gathering Drum
April 6, 2019
We had a fantastic turn out today at the Sunflower Public House & Live Music for our session with Joe from The Gathering Drum. There were a lot of drums, a lot of laughs and a lot of noise. Thankfully, we didn’t pull the new renovations of the Sunflower down and all the staff are still speaking to us! 😁
We were very grateful to get some donations today which we are sending to a charity of Joe’s choice – the Alzheimer’s Society Northern Ireland.
A massive thank you to everyone who came to help and support us today, to Gary at the Sunflower who helped us get set up and to the amazing Joe Loughlin for an unforgettable day. We’re still smiling and hope to have many more events like this in the future. Great job, everyone! ❤️🤘
Bereaved by Suicide Workshop
March 3, 2019
For every person we lose to suicide, it is estimated that at least 60 others are greatly affected by the loss, and can themselves become at risk.
Gillian has been helping to run one of a series of workshops provided by the The Northern Region Recovery College, along with David Olphert, the Northern Trust's Family Liaison for those Bereaved by Suicide. We provided information about the invaluable postvention support services provided by the Trust and offered support and hope for people who find themselves face to face with tragedy.
The Recovery College offers many different kinds of free-of-charge courses for anyone who's interested in finding out about recovery, managing and living with illness or learning to help others. Check it out below!
March 7, 2019
We attend many gigs and events, raising awareness of mental illness, suicide and the support we can offer within Metal for Life NI. It's a real inspiration for us when we receive supportive words from metal bands. Thank you, guys. Come back to Belfast soon!