Pharrell Williams inspires ‘Happy’ health campaign
Pharrell Williams has inspired mental health campaigners in Ireland to produce their own Happy video featuring people with learning difficulties.
Eve Estuary, the Dublin centre for adults with learning difficulties, have released their own video of Pharrell Williams’ megahit. It will be used to mark the start of the Green Ribbon Campaign, which encourages people to talk openly about mental health, and feel confident in themselves.
The song is a perfect fit for the campaign, and the Visual and Performing Art group got stuck right in to the video.
Rachel Kiernan, who runs the group, said: “This is a much loved song here in the centre by many of our participants and staff. We have seen the clients dancing at discos here in the centre and noticed how they all had their own individual style. We were struck by how free everybody is when they dance.
“We were inspired by all the other ‘Happy’ videos made by people around the country, so we decided to do our own.”
Eve Estuary support people in Dublin with mental health issues with community-based projects, and activities to build self-confidence and social circles. The Green Ribbon campaign will run for the whole of May, and is backed by See Change and the National Stigma Reduction Partnership.
All 64 members of Eve Estuary took part in the video and Kiernan said the recording was great fun: “Everybody loved doing it. We just blasted out the music and let them do their thing, and everybody else who was here on the day was standing around in a big semi-circle cheering the dancers on.”
The final cut is great viewing, and was well received by the participants. The dancers congregated for the premiere of their video at the Dublin centre, and were suitably impressed with the final cut according to Kiernan: “Everybody was cheering mad. The song evokes such positive feelings and has inspired people to get up, dance and feel good about themselves. It was great fun.
“We couldn’t think of a more appropriate way that we could spread the Green Ribbon Campaign’s message to start talking about and dealing with mental health problems.”
Happy has been an unbelievable hit around the world. There have been countless mock videos produced from places as far as Taiwan and Slovakia. The residents of Donegal also produced their own video, which featured on an Oprah Winfrey special. The chat queen interviewed Williams about the global success of Happy, and he was reduced to tears after being overwhelmed by the global impact of his song.
Learn more about the Green Ribbon Campaign here: www.greenribbon.ie
Watch the Eve Estuary’s Happy video below.