The 2023 Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival (SMHAF) took place across Scotland from 4 – 22 October 2023, exploring the theme of ‘Revolution’.

A small number of events are continuing or are still to come. Browse the upcoming programme and book tickets.

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Photograph of two paintings on small canvases propped up against a white wall.

The Reconnect Collection

Talking Heads volunteer Dipalika Mohanty has created this artistic response to The Reconnect Collection, a joint exhibition by Project Ability and Art in the Gart.
Collage of images from the workshop on a canal boat, with the heading Take a Look in the centre.

Canalside Stories: Water Tales

Picture the scene: on a warm autumn day, a boat takes you on an artistic journey while cruising along the canal. Inesa Vėlavičiūtė reports on this workshop by Fountainbridge Canalside Community Trust through writing and video.
Spoken word performer in a cafe

Speakin’ Oor Mind

Talking Heads volunteer Sarah Visser writes about Speakin’ Oor Mind, an informal spoken word and open mic event hosted by See Me as part of SMHAF 2023.

‘Revolution’ Commissions

‘Revolution’ is the theme for the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival 2023. We have commissioned five artists to create new work to address this theme – and posed a challenge to established ways of thinking.

Jamie Bolland performing electronic music in his Mercurochrome costume including a tin foil headpiece

Untinned Animal

Jamie Bolland was commissioned to develop a processional performance and a series of downloadable pamphlets inspired by our ‘revolution’ theme.
Four women posing on colourful chairs looking into the camera.

we depend on each other

Four immigrant women discuss the mental health challenges they faced after arriving in Scotland in this short documentary by Bircan Birol.
Multimedia montage

The Flood and the Fire

Artists and community educators Keira McLean and Joey Simons have created a revolutionary mixed-media montage and a pedagogical workbook.
Illustration of a figure handing from the end of a giant fountain pen.

Writing Awards 2023

Read the shortlisted entries from this year’s writing competition, collected in a book illustrated by Nisan Yetkin and designed by Hamish Gibson.

The winning writers, selected from over 200 entries to the competition, were announced at our Writing Awards on Sunday 22 October, hosted by poet and playwright Hannah Lavery.

Congratulations to the winners:

Victoria Reid (Creative Non-Fiction & Overall)
Rachel Gorry (Fiction)
Suzanne Smith (Poetry)

Featured Events

Out of Sight Out of Mind

Summerhall, Edinburgh
The 11th Out of Sight Out of Mind exhibition presents artworks made by over 200 people who have experience of mental health issues.
A young man stands in a bright gallery with arms folded.


Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh
Three times as many men as women die by suicide. TALK is an ongoing portraiture project by Edinburgh-based photographer Graham Williams, exploring the subject of men’s mental health.

Mental Health, Migration and Rights For All 

The Community Wellbeing Space, Westside Plaza Shopping Centre, Edinburgh
Join us for a day of solidarity, creativity and training, exploring how our mental health is affected by inequality and oppression where struggles, joys and collective power to make a change meet.  
Skatepark photo

A Different Gravitation: Exhibition of Summer Engagement Project

Learning Research Centre, UHI Inverness, Inverness
An exhibition of photographs and poems highlighting the positive benefits of skating for mental health and wellbeing, created during summer engagement sessions hosted by UHI Inverness in collaboration with the Highland Skate Parks Association.

Led By

Mental Health Foundation Logo

Our Partners

Creative Scotland logo
Thrive Edinburgh Logo
Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership Logo
The Baring Foundation Logo
See Me Logo
NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Logo
Scottish Recovery Network Logo
The List Logo