River of Hope – Good Relations Artwork and Good Mental Health

21 April 2020

River of Hope | NI CRC

The dreams and wishes of service users and staff were displayed at the acute Mental Health In-patient Centre.

The artwork, produced by Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (BHSCT) to mark Good Relations Week 2019, depicts a river of their words and thoughts. River of Hope was created by artists Grainne Kielty and Anne Quail.

Jacqueline Irwin, Community Relations Council (CRC) Chief Executive, attended the unveiling alongside Peter McNaney, HSC Trust Chair.

Jacqueline highlighted CRC’s partnership with BHSCT over the last 8 years, since they first assisting them with advice developing BHSCT’s first good relations strategy: Healthy Relations for a Healthy Future.

“BHSCT was the first Trust to develop a Good Relations strategy,” Jacqueline said, “and the fact that – even with all the other responsibilities of a large Trust – they have taken the time to produce projects such as River of Hope is testament to their commitment to promoting good relations and an inclusive environment.”

Dr Cathy Jack, Belfast Trust’s Chief Executive, believes BHSCT can play a part in building a shared society based on mutual respect.

“We as a Trust are committed to the promotion of good relations between people of different religions, racial groups and political opinions,” Cathy said, “and whilst we cannot address all the ills in society, Belfast Trust, as the largest employer and provider of integrated health and social care in Northern Ireland, believe it important and incumbent upon us to play a significant role in building an inclusive and shared society based on mutual respect.”

Dr Jack highlighted that it was fitting for the River of Hope to be displayed permanently at the Mental Health Inpatient Centre

“It seemed fitting that we permanently display this beautiful artwork here to underpin the recurring themes of hope,” Cathy explained, “and a journey in achieving and maintaining good relations and good mental health. Our River of Hope flows naturally out to the serene water features and courtyard.”

Jacqueline added: “The formal unveiling of the River of Hope artwork has brought together many people to celebrate, and recognise, the great work that is being done for mental health care at Belfast City Hospital.

“During Good Relations week 2019, service users and staff of Belfast Trust came together to share their dreams and aspirations for the future. The River of Hope artwork showcases their words and sentences transformed into a beautiful artwork.

“This will be a permeant reminder that community and shared ideals will always have the capacity to make us stronger.”

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