The last few weeks have been a difficult time for us all, with huge changes, increased uncertainty and new challenges coming in a very short space of time. At the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival, we have gone from adding the final touches to this year’s programme to taking the difficult but necessary decision to cancel the festival in May and seek a new path to take us through the rest of 2020.
Thanks to tremendous support from everyone connected with SMHAF, our plans are now beginning to come together, and we are looking forward to sharing them with you in the coming weeks. We are developing an online programme aimed at supporting our creative communities, regional networks and dedicated audiences, and creating opportunities for engagement and conversation. This will involve showcasing a small selection of work that would have been presented during the festival in May – as well as opening things up to new ideas which respond to what feels like a very different world.
We are also now going to start sharing some of the exciting work that is being made available online from the artistic community in Scotland, especially from artists and organisations with a connection to SMHAF, and films, projects and resources that have featured at SMHAF in the past. We may not be able to share everything, but please draw our attention to anything that is happening by tagging or messaging us on Twitter (@MH_Arts), Facebook (@mentalhealtharts) or Instagram (@mhfestival).
In the meantime, please continue to support your favourite musicians, performers, artists, festivals, venues and companies. Many are sharing some wonderful, innovative work online, providing plenty of inspiration to the SMHAF team. We are putting together a page to share some of the things that are happening here.
Looking after your mental health
As well as continuing to engage with the arts and the other things that we enjoy, it is vital that we take time to look after our mental health during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The Mental Health Foundation has developed a series of resources, providing useful tips to help you, your friends and your family to look after your mental health. We would encourage you to read those that are relevant to you and share them with others who might benefit from them.
Further resources are available at mentalhealth.org.uk/coronavirus.
The impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on our personal circumstances will have an effect on our mental health.
For practical information and advice in Scotland, you can visit coronvirusadvice.scot.
Information, advice and support for the artistic community during the Coronavrius outbreak can be found on the Creative Scotland website. Screen Scotland have also developed advice and information and a resource directory for the screen sector and other freelancers working in Scotland.