We’re happy to present a new series set on breaking the stigma behind mental health issues. The project uses original music and visuals, composed by Cian Toner under his Shakatoner alias, accompanied by recordings of various people who suffer from mental health issues.

“I am very proud (and slightly bricking it) to share a project that I have been working on over the past six months entitled ‘Tell Your Own Story’,” says Cian. “The project aims to creatively raise awareness of mental health issues in Ireland and inspire those affected to speak out and seek help.”

He continues, “The first in this series of ‘Tell Your Own Story’ features a recording from a chat that I had with a very inspiring man named Ray. Over the course of two hours we spoke about many things including Ray’s struggles with his mental health and how music has played a vital role in his life. Ray writes music under the alias MacMurphy. We spoke about how music can have such a positive influence on our mental health.”

Cian cites various influences in writing the accompanying music, including Newbridge producer Mmoths.

“I had also been listening to a lot of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ film scores which I tried to draw inspiration from. The visuals are also directed, shot and edited by myself. I spent a whole day at the gorgeous Bohernabreena Waterworks gathering footage for the piece.”

We’ll be continuing this series over the next few weeks, telling people’s stories of their battles with mental health issues with spoken word and poetry, always punctuated with original audio/visual accompaniment.

If you’d like to tell your story and help other people do the same contact us (editor@districtmagazine.ie) or Cian Toner (shakatonercontact@gmail.com) directly.

If you, like thousands others, are affected by any mental health issues and you feel like you need some help there are many organisations that can help. Pieta House, Aware, Samaritans, Consoles and SpunOut are just some of the sources that can help.

Words: Staff Writer 
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