Northern Ireland news

Artist Terry Bradley lends his artistic flair to men's mental health initiative

Popular artist Terry Bradley (pictured left) has loaned his trademark artistic style to a new collaboration in a bid to raise funds for Action Mental Health. Mr Bradley has joined forces with Chris Moffitt (pictured right), of Kithara Guitars, to produce a beautifully-painted, hand-crafted six-string guitar as part of an initiative which focuses on men's mental health
Marie Louise McConville

ARTIST Terry Bradley has lent his trademark style to a new collaboration to raise funds for Action Mental Health.

Mr Bradley has joined forces with Chris Moffitt, of Kithara Guitars, to produce a beautifully-painted, hand-crafted six-string guitar as part of an initiative which focuses on men's mental health.

Recognising that many men still find it difficult to talk, Terry and Chris set out to help de-stigmatise the subject.

The artist spent two months hand painting an electric guitar which was hand-crafted by Chris.

HIs artwork depicts a colourful front of the guitar showing the upbeat, bright face that many people use to mask how they are really feeling.

The beautifully-painted, hand-crafted, six-string guitar which has been produced through a collaboration between artist Terry Bradley and Chris Moffitt, of Kithara Guitars, in aid of Action Mental Health

The back represents the darker side of mental health, a lone figure against a full moon.

The motto of `Never Give Up' is painted along the neck of the guitar.

Members of the public are being invited to make a donation of £10 or more to be entered into a draw to win the guitar. So far, more than £3,400 has been raised on JustGiving.

Speaking to the Irish News, Mr Bradley said he did as much as he could to raise awareness of mental health as he had depression for most of his life.

"I work with it every day," he said.

"I use my social media and I put on there if I am feeling bad. I am very aware of being honest. I want to be able to say to people `I am having a bad day but I am trying again tomorrow'.

"What I am trying to do is make the whole mental health thing cool and diffuse the whole thing."

He added that he wanted to do "something fantastic". He said he also aspires to form his own foundation and "raise money every year and give it to different places".

"I want people to know they can give it another go tomorrow," he said.

Jonny Smyth, Head of Fundraising and Communications at Action Mental Health said the money raised will support its three Men's Sheds in Fermanagh, Downpatrick and Antrim, as well as its counselling service – AMH New Life Counselling.

"It's wonderful to be the beneficiaries of this special collaboration and we are grateful to Terry and Chris for sharing their experiences of poor mental health to try and help reduce stigma and encourage people to seek help," he said.

"Many men still find it very difficult to talk about their mental health and it's initiatives like this, and the publicity that surrounds them, that helps to de-stigmatise the subject and encourages men to get the help they need."

:: Donations can be made at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/terry-bradleykitharaguitar.

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