Design for life: Unique event for Limerick in Mind Over Matter initiative

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts

Louise Lawlor, Blink Design, Gillian Barry, LIT, Darren Smyth, Shannon Group and Vicki O’Toole, JJ O’Toole Ltd  Picture: Alan Place

Louise Lawlor, Blink Design, Gillian Barry, LIT, Darren Smyth, Shannon Group and Vicki O’Toole, JJ O’Toole Ltd Picture: Alan Place

LEADING Limerick designers are to donate their time and expertise as part of a unique nationwide strategy.

Mind over Matter, a new initiative backed by the Institute of Designers in Ireland (IDI), is taking place on ​Wednesday, October 10, World Mental Health Day.

The business-to-business event will see local designers provide their services for a nominal fee, with all proceeds doing to Aware, which provides support and information for people who experience depression or bipolar disorder.

Engine in Cecil Street was geared up for the launch of the initiative, which will take place on World Mental Health Day.

Designers will gather back there next month to provide support to companies.

A new scheme, Mind over Matter was inspired by an article that former IDI president Kim MacKenzie-Doyle​ read in 2016, which stated creatives are 25% more likely to suffer a mental health issue in their lifetime.

Blink Design managing director Louise Lawlor, the Limerick venue manager for the IDI initiative, said: “This rang true for Kim on many levels, her grandfather took his own life, her father has experienced bouts of depression through his life, and this was only discussed in their family last year.”

In Limerick, Gillian Barry, the head of innovation and enterprise in LIT chaired a panel of business leaders and design experts, who discussed the power of branding.

On that panel was Darren Smyth, the head of commercial at Shannon Group, Vicki O’Toole, the chief executive of Raheen packing firm JJ O’Toole’s and Ms Lawlor.

Mr Smyth said: “Collectively, we have a great opportunity to continue the very positive momentum around openly discussing mental health issues.

“We have made great progress in the last decade but it’s essential that we continue to highlight issues around mental health and the mind over matter initiative will greatly assist in that mission.”

Ms O’Toole, whose firm is the national sponsor of Mind Over Matter added: “When JJ O’Toole was approached last year to be a national sponsor last year, I didn’t hesitate for a second to get involved as it was ticking a lot of boxes for me both personally and for our business. Mind Over Matter is the perfect forum for our company to support mental wellness in the creative sector and we hope by doing so, and talking together more, we can make a difference.”

Mind over Matter is supported by 200 designers from all over Ireland who are donating 1,500 hours with all funds raised being donated to Aware.

For more information, visit the campaign’s website at, or telephone 087-0526215.