There will be plenty of time to laugh at the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival, with high profile comedy shows and community performances taking place across Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Forth Valley.

Following a triumphant run at the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Felicity Ward brings her brilliantly honest, thoughtful and hilarious show about her own struggles with anxiety and mental health to Glasgow for World Mental Health Day. The show at the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Glasgow is the only Scottish date of her current UK tour and a wonderful opportunity to catch one of the rising stars of the comedy circuit.

A generous and immensely likeable performer, with infectious energy and an exuberant stage presence, Ward uses her work to destigmatise mental illness, but never hammers home the message. Reviewing her show at the Fringe, the Scotsman wrote: ‘By being open and straightforward about her mental health, without making it centre stage, she has created a show with heart which wears its activism lightly. You can hear people opening up about their own issues as they leave the building.’

In association with Glasgow International Comedy Festival, Gary Little takes his brand new show A Little Bit of Personal on tour with SMHAFF. One of the funniest and most consistent performers in Scottish comedy, he draws on own his own experiences with depression with unflinching honesty, telling stories of paranoia, hillwalking, prison pen pals and being known as the guy with the dogs. A refreshing and local stand-up comedian, he will be performing at East Kilbride Arts Centre, Behind the Wall in Falkirk and The Stand in Glasgow.

Renowned for his appearances on Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo and Radio 4, Milton Jones headlines the Therapy Room’s Comedy Weekender, one of the highlights from this year’s Lanarkshire festival. He will perform live on the Saturday night at Motherwell Concert Hall and Theatre in a show compered by Patrick Rolink, with support from Susie McCabe and Christopher McArthur-Boyd. Gary Delaney headlines the Friday night show, and there is a special Kids’ Comedy Stand-Up show on Sunday afternoon at Airdrie Town Hall.

Trust Jack Foundation also present a comedy night in Lanarkshire, featuring some of Scotland’s brightest and funniest comedians. Performers include Susie McCabe, who wowed audiences at the 2015 Fringe with her raw stand-up inspired by substance abuse and mental health issues, and Trust Jack Foundation’s own Colin Higgins. There will also be comedy acts at In Time You Will Recover and platForum’s Open Mic Night, both events which give people who have experience with mental health issues an opportunity to be creative and make people laugh.

Comedy Listings

Felicity Ward

CCA, Glasgow: Mon 10 Oct, 8-9.30pm

Gary Little

East Kilbride Arts Centre: Tue 20 Oct, 8pm

Behind the Wall, Falkirk: Sat 29 Oct, 8pm

The Stand, Glasgow: Sun 31 Oct, 8pm

The Therapy Room’s Comedy Weekender

Friday Night Comedy with Gary Delaney

Motherwell Concert Hall & Theatre: Fri 21 Oct, 8-10pm

Saturday Night Live with Milton Jones

Motherwell Concert Hall & Theatre: Sat 22 Oct, 8-10pm

Kids’ Comedy Stand-Up

Airdrie Town Hall: Sun 23 Oct, 2-4pm

Trust Jack Foundation Comedy Night

Low Waters Miners’ Welfare Social Club, Hamilton: Sat 29 Oct, 7.30pm-Midnight

platForum Open Mic Night

Sou’western Club, Glasgow: 7.30pm-Late

In Time You Will Recover

Orbiston Neighbourhood Centre, Bellshill: Tue 25 Oct, 1-3pm