Monday the 10th October marks a double celebration: it’s World Mental Health Day, and the launch of the 10th Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival (SMHAFF), which runs until the 31st October with over 300 events happening across Scotland. SMHAFF aims to challenge preconceived ideas about mental health through the arts – this year our programme includes exciting new theatre, film premieres, thought-provoking comedy, dance, live music and creative workshops for all ages. To find out more, have a look at our full programme on mhfestival.com.
Here are our top ten ways you can get involved on World Mental Health Day (in no particular order!):
CCA, Glasgow, 8-9.30pm
Following a triumphant run at the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Felicity Ward brings her brilliantly honest, thoughtful and hilarious comedy show 50% More Likely to Die, about her own struggles with anxiety and mental health to Glasgow for World Mental Health Day. This is the only Scottish date of her tour – don’t miss your chance to catch one of the rising stars of the comedy circuit.
James Gillespie’s High School, Edinburgh, 7-8.45pm
“Having Schizophrenia isn’t something i’d want anybody to have, it’s challenging, there’s a lot of stigma associated with it and that’s why i’m doing this film, is just to break down the stigma and showing that you can live with mental illness, you’re still you and that you matter to people.” Dan and Margot is a brave and honest film exploring mental health, stigma and moving forward. The film will also be playing with Glasgow on the 15 Oct.
AK Bell Library Theatre, Perth, 2-4.30pm
In Perth, the extraordinary animated Latvian documentary Rocks in my Pockets traces the lives of five members of the director’s family and their battles with depression and suicide. Packed with metaphors and experimental imagery, the film explores the extent to which mental health is shaped by experiences and genetics.
Summerhall, Edinburgh, 6-8.30pm (runs until 31 Oct)
Out of Sight, Out of Mind, a powerful and ambitious series of multimedia exhibitions spread across several venues and galleries, opens in Edinburgh on World Mental Health Day. Created by 100 artists with experience of mental health issues, this diverse collection of multi-media works aims to get us thinking and talking about mental health, raising awareness and challenging perceptions. Various venues in Edinburgh.
Tesco Extra Port Glasgow, 9am-9pm
One of the best parts of the festival is offering audiences the opportunity to encounter creative practices in unexpected places: what better example is there than Mental Wellbeing Starts Wee, which takes place in a supermarket? The Port Glasgow exhibition displays artwork made by nursery-aged children who have been encouraged to explore their emotions through art.
CCA, Glasgow, 6-7pm
Delve into the 16-Bit universe and battle the Big Boss of depression at Amy Conway’s interactive gaming-based theatre piece Super Awesome World: A Work in Progress. Join Amy for an immersive performance that explores what depression is like and what it is like to fight it.
7. REAL TALK
Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh, 7-9pm
One of the aims of the festival is to spark discussions about mental health all across the country, so it seems fitting that Real Talk will be kicking off Edinburgh’s SMHAFF programme of events. This evening at the Scottish Storytelling Centre will offer a platform to those with experiences of mental ill health and recovery so that they can share their personal stories in a supportive environment. Watch a clip from a recent session here.
CCA, Glasgow, 2-4pm
Screenings of the Peckham Experiment, a film about the creation of the Pioneer Health Centre, a radical vision for encouraging health rather than curing disease; The Centre about the Jones family, whose lives were enlarged through this innovative community; and in A Pool of Information, about memories and legacies of the Centre. Following the films is a discussion with Dr Jack Czauderna, Dr Margaret Hannah and Dr Lisa Curtice, trustees of the Pioneer Health Foundation, and artist Ilona Sagar, who has done related work.
Council Chambers, Paisley, 12-1.30pm
Take a moment (or a lunch hour) to stop by the Renfrewshire programme launch Take Time Out for Mental Health Day; there will be snippets of film, music, theatre and spoken word to give a taste of the varied events taking place in the region during the festival.
University of Stirling, 9am-5pm
We will be exploring the subject of time with our partners Artlink Central and Reachout with Arts in Mind at exhibitions Time and Artspace Time at University of Stirling campus. Artists will be showcasing their interpretation of the effect of time and health, creativity and wellbeing.