Thrive Edinburgh, the Mental Health Foundation and Health in Mind are hosting our first online ThriveFest festival focusing on how creativity can contribute to our mental health and wellbeing. 

In these times of uncertainty, confusion and chaos people have reached to the arts for support, solace, fun and understanding. We are going to celebrate and provoke the resilience and imagination of the human spirit with a series of online events, discussions and workshops.

At 6pm (UK BST), Thrive Edinburgh, Thrive Amsterdam and Thrive LDN come together via live video link to conclude respective World Mental Health Day activities, in a conversation hosted by Mental Health Foundation CEO, Mark Rowland.

Joining together in a virtual discussion will be The Rt. Hon. Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Frank Ross; Thrive LDN co-lead and NHS England Mental Health Inequalities Advisor, Dr Jacqui Dyer MBE; Thrive Amsterdam Steering Group member and Cliëntenbelang director (the largest social interest foundation in The Netherlands), Deborah Lauria.

The conversation is being held on Zoom. You can register for the discussion here and a link will be sent out ahead of the discussion. Click on the image below to view our digital programme. 

ThriveFest Flyer Image

Live Programme

12-12.15pm | ThriveFest 2020: Introduction

Join us for an introduction to ThriveFest here

1-1.20pm | You Are Here

Join Richie Cumming from National Galleries of Scotland as he presents an opportunity to participate in an exhibition made up of images and stories of people of all ages from across Scotland telling of their experiences of living the pandemic. The call out for contributions remains open until the end of this year so find out how your story can feature.

Book at Eventbrite

1.30-2pm | LGBT+: Artist Talks

Enjoy performances from lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) artists and find out how creativity supports our mental wellbeing. Expect Sanjay Lago, Susie Laing and much more! Also hear from LGBT Health and Wellbeing about how we use creativity to support positive mental health.

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2-2.30pm | A Mental Health Conversation with Hip Hop Psych

During this interactive Q&A session, the co-founders of the social initiative, Hip-Hop Psych, will explore a wide range of topic areas related to mental health through the lens of hip-hop music, lyrics and culture. They will discuss their experiences and how it relates to healthcare, neuroscience, social justice, and other related areas.

Book at Eventbrite.

Find out more about Hip Hop PsychFollow on Twitter: @hiphopsych.

3.30-4.15pm | Strange Town: Lockdown Monologues

Strange Town creative director Steve Small commissioned six emerging playwrights to write a monologue about the effects of the lockdown on young people aged 16-25. Working alongside Media Education and six young actors from Strange Town Young Company the results are moving, quirky and uplifting. Join this session to hear two monologues performed live, followed by a Q&A session. You can view all of the monologues here

Book at Eventbrite. 

4.15-5pm | Though This Be (online) Madness: Skye Loneragan Q&A

Though This Be (online) Madness is a brand new reimagining of Skye Loneragan’s solo theatre show, which premiered online in five daily episodes on the SMHAF website and Facebook page. The show is the story of a recovering mum who is attempting to tell many tales of sisterhood struggles with mental health – in the midst of constant interruptions from her new-born baby. Join us for a Q&A with Skye Loneragan, who will talk about her experiences remaking the show during lockdown. 

Book at Eventbrite

5-5.30pm | RUN

A short film followed by a participatory workshop, created by Irene Houliara, Eleni Petridou and Dario Laureano. The short film RUN presents the need for expression through arts during self-isolation, as a result of Covid-19. Music, drawing, video and body movement, alongside other forms of art, provide the opportunity for self-expression and communication when once’s mental health is threatened. You can view the short film here.

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5.30-6pm | Cranial Cocktail

Ever get the feeling your body has mind of its own? Some days you can’t get out of bed and on others you’re so excited you can’t sleep, what is all that about? If we can understand what’s happening in our brains and minds, in our bodies and how we feel, then we can re-learn (re programme or re train the brain) to respond and react differently. This session will introduce you to your emotional homunculus and the brain’s amazing drugs cabinet, using the Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution’s digital psychoeducational resources.

Book at Eventbrite. 

6-6.30pm | Thrive Cities: Live Panel

Thrive city sisters, Edinburgh and London, will join together for a virtual discussion with The Rt. Hon. Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Frank Ross and Thrive LDN co-lead and NHS England Mental Health Inequalities Advisor, Dr Jacqui Dyer MBE. They will share their thoughts and experiences on how they have looked after their own mental health in recent months and the key issues emerging from the respective Thrive programmes.

The conversation will be hosted by Mental Health Foundation CEO, Mark Rowland, and also joining the panel is Priscila Hernandez, a Thrive LDN festival participant and [Name], a Thrive Edinburgh festival participant. Both participants will outline the activities which have been taking place in their respective cities and the importance to them of participation in cultural activity for wellbeing.

The conversation is being held on Zoom. Register below and a link will be sent out ahead of the discussion.

Book at Eventbrite. 

Recorded Content

National Galleries of Scotland: Phrenology

Join National Galleries of Scotland Librarian, Becky Howell, as she presents a short exploration of the Phrenology display in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and her role re-interpreting the works with mental health connections and National Galleries of Scotland’s commitment to creating better understanding of these works.

National Galleries of Scotland: Spartans

Join Robin Baillie from National Galleries of Scotland to hear about a project with students at Spartans Alternative School, Edinburgh, involving creating avatars in the form of giant table-football figures to help their creators face the challenges and opportunities that their futures hold.

I put the barbed-wire around the figure because that is all the bad things I have been through … and survived.

SX Creative Project

This project asked gay and bisexual men from our community to submit an image and a small piece of text that reflected their mental health or wellbeing in some way. We would then print their image using a technique known as cyanotype that uses sunlight to develop an image almost like a shadow. We thought this technique which is all about exposure, was an interesting metaphor for how men struggle to discuss their mental health openly. The submissions have been really interesting snapshots of the lives that gay and bisexual men lead and we’ve had a deserve range from individuals’ memories, photographs of safe spaces, and small gestures which have made a difference to their lives. We hope from this project that we begin a conversation. A conversation that makes men in our community feel able to speak more openly about their experiences but also brings their voice to life for World Mental Health Day.

Podcast with Sally Nimmo

Hosting a one-off, World Mental Health Day-themed spotlight conversation on student mental health, Reena Staves from Think Positive is in conversation with Sally Nimmo, a See Me Youth Champion, to discuss how use of the arts has provided some semblance of solace during COVID-19.

Listen to the podcast below

Creative Spaces Gallery

This, the second exhibition in the Creative Spaces Gallery is showcasing the art created over the past few months as part of the Summer Art Club. Please have a wee wander through the gallery…. it only takes about 8 minutes. I think it’s an amazing achievement by the adults who have created and exhibited their work and it also demonstrates the importance to being actively involved in the arts during these difficult times.  

Please share with others that you think would be interested and / or inspired and click ‘like’ at the end should you wish to.

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Find out more about Edinburgh Thrive