Mental health is an issue that almost everyone encounters at some point in their lives. The Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival
seeks to promote positive attitudes towards mental health, mental illness, support and recovery, and to lead cultural change amongst opinion-formers and the public through the insights and influences of the creative arts.
The festival, which runs until 19th October, is the largest festival of its kind, with over 100 events over two-and-a-half weeks, and is fast becoming a major cultural event in Scotland.
"We intend to achieve social change by engaging the media, the public, and the arts community in a dialogue about mental health issues" says Lee Knifton, the Festival Director. The multi-arts festival aims to engage audiences and tackle stigma by exploring the relationship between mental health and creativity, celebrating the artistic achievements of people with experience of mental health issues and promoting positive mental health and well being.
The festival is led by The Mental Health Foundation in association with lead investment partners who encompass the major mental health bodies in Scotland, from government to service users; the national 'see me' campaign, Positive Mental Attitudes, Breathing Space, Healthy Working Lives, Scottish Recovery Network, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Voices of Experience.
Included on one of the film panels is David Duke, the manager of Scotland's Homeless World Cup team, who had all experienced homelessness, drug/alcohol rehabilitation or mental ill health (and who lead the team last year to triumphantly lifting the Homeless World Cup, beating Poland 9-3 in the final!) Other - free! - highlights include exhibitions in Platform, Easterhouse by Inside Out, where the huge windows will be transformed into stained glass montages. The Tron, Glasgow is also hosting a vibrant exhibition of furniture by HOME at Impact Arts. Why not drop in and have a look?