THE REPUBLIC’S only arts festival dedicated to promoting mental health awareness has opened in Dublin with a wide range of music, film, theatre and more promised over the next two weeks.

A number of specially commissioned art works have been created to coincide with the start of First Fortnight 2012, which takes place in and around Temple Bar.

The festival is being staged in association with See Change, a Government-backed initiative that seeks to challenge discrimination on mental health issues.

Among the highlights of the festival programme is a concert with bands Cashier No 9, Le Galaxie and Royseven, whose song We Should Be Lovers was the most played Irish single on radio here last year.

Other highlights include a series of new short films from directors such as Hugh O’Connor and Mary Redmond, a number of visual art and photography exhibitions and two performances of 565+, a play that tells the story of how one woman sought solace in the theatre when struggling with depression. (Times) >

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