This year, the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival has over 300 events taking place in 13 regions across Scotland from 10-29 October. In the build-up to the festival, we will be offering a series of regional highlights, helping you keep track of what’s happening near you. Here is our pick from the events taking place in Forth Valley.

In visual arts, make sure you seeReclaim: Falkirk (10-15 Oct), an exhibition featuring work from over 50 Forth Valley based artists, including established artists Lesley Anne Derks, Catherine King and Karen Strang, and input from final year students at local schools. Styles range from photorealism to surreal pieces, highlighting the talent and diversity of local artists. Reclaim: Stirling (10 Oct-5 Dec) is a collaborative mixed media exhibition hosted by Artlink Central and Reachout with Arts in Mind. Over a month-long period, Artspace participants in Stirling worked with artist Aya Iguchi and Reachout members with Jacqueline Marr to create artworks inspired by the theme of Reclaim. 

FDAMH’s Freedom of Mind Choir will perform a selection of uplifting songs to celebrate World Mental Health Day (Tue 10 Oct), as well as the Reclaim exhibition opening. FDAMH’s programme in Falkirk also includes Reclaim: Film Screenings and Reclaim Your Identity: Storytelling Workshop, with poet Janet Crawford. And written by members of the FDAMH writing group and performed by the drama group, Being Frank (Thu 19 Oct) explores what it is like to live with poor mental health, focusing on one man’s struggle to regain his positive sense of wellbeing.

There’s more exciting theatre in Forth Valley, as The Coolidge Effect explores the effects of society’s increasing access to pornography, as well as its unwillingness to talk about it. Based on interviews with porn advocates, addicts, mental health experts and scientists, this date at SMHAF forms part of a wider tour. And directed by Jamie O’Rourke, Project Theatre Collective’s Restless (Mon 16 Oct) uses speech, sound, physical theatre and materials to create a unique, engaging and entertaining performance piece, which aims to explore some of our darkest fears and our loftiest ambitions that keep us awake at night.

We hope you can make it to some of these events in Forth Valley, and encourage you to explore the full programme to discover everything that is taking place.