HeadSpace is a writing and art magazine based on mental health that was launched in May 2013. HeadSpace magazine is currently looking for submissions for its second issue. Submissions should be sent to submissions@headspace-magazine.com by 30 November 2013.

The first issue of HeadSpace was put together by a group of determined young people who funded the magazine through crowdsourcing, events, and a small grant from 02’s ThinkBig project. The project was otherwise unsupported.

The publication was funded through a small grant, but this didn’t go very far. We worked extremely hard to spread the word about the project, collect submissions, and fund it through crowdsourcing and events. We were rewarded with a high-quality magazine full of inspiring poetry, fiction, personal experience stories and art. Most of the copies we printed were distributed for free in hospitals and mental health support services in Dublin, Laois, Wexford and Wicklow. We are delighted to have the support of Rehab Ireland’s arts fund to print and distribute a second issue, which which will be launched in January 2014.

One of the reasons HeadSpace was established was to provide reading material for patients in wards and waiting rooms. Orla Price, HeadSpace’s founder, spoke on Newstalk last summer about diagnosing herself with illnesses she didn’t have because when she was in hospitals and waiting rooms, the only distraction she had were factual information leaflets. HeadSpace’s current editor, Naomi Elster, recently spent some time in hospital and found that the lack of reading material there was detrimental to her during her recovery. Reading something like HeadSpace, which tells stories of difficulty and hope, mental illness and recovery, from people who have experienced these things, provides a feeling of comfort and solidarity to readers as well as a much needed distraction from their anxiety-inducing surroundings.

Since taking over the editorship, Naomi has been thinking about what she wants for the magazine. According to Naomi “I want HeadSpace available for free in every county in Ireland, and eventually, I would like to have copies of HeadSpace available in every hospital and mental health support service in the country. Although some hospitals have libraries, most hospitals simply don’t have the resources or support to provide this service to patients and this is why the volunteers behind HeadSpace work as hard as we do to make the magazine a success. Maybe we won’t get a free magazine into every hospital in Ireland. But there’s no harm in thinking big.” For more information on HeadSpace, see www.headspace-magazine.com, www.facebook.com/HeadSpaceForAll or follow @headspacezine on Twitter.


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