Tuesday 10th October marks a double celebration: it’s both World Mental Health Day and the launch of the 11th Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival (SMHAF).

SMHAF 2017 runs until Sunday 29th October, bringing over 300 events to venues across Scotland. The festival aims to challenge preconceived ideas about mental health through the arts – this year’s programme includes exciting new theatre, film premieres, storytelling, dance, live music and creative workshops for all ages. To find out more, have a look at our full programme here.

Here are our top ten ways you can get involved on World Mental Health Day (in no particular order!):


Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, 8–9.15pm

One Mississippi is a new and hard-hitting verbatim play that explores how childhood experiences shape men’s adult lives, and the journey it takes them on. Blending humour and storytelling with powerful elements of physical theatre, it is an uncompromising insight into what takes us to breaking point.


Òran Mór, Glasgow, 1–2pm

A darkly comic political cabaret for our times by theatre-maker Julia Taudevin, partly inspired by the 2016 US election and the 2017 global women’s marches, and written in dialogue with over 100 people. Ticket includes a pie and a pint!


Summerhall, Edinburgh, 6.30–8.30pm

Out of Sight, Out of Mind, a powerful series of exhibitions spread across several venues in Edinburgh, has its launch at Summerhall on World Mental Health Day. Your chance to be among the first to see artworks created by around 160 artists with experience of mental health issues, there will also be entertainment on the night. The exhibition at Summerhall runs from 11–29 October.


Paisley Town Centre, All Day

We celebrate Paisley’s rich heritage by yarn bombing the town’s public statues. Community groups across Renfrewshire have worked with a textiles artist to create woollen garments for the statues – a humorous and uplifting way to reclaim our history.


East Kilbride Arts Centre, East Kilbride, 1–3pm

A funny, poignant new play by Theatre Tonic about life in a small village populated by characters with intriguing secrets. Embark on a rollercoaster ride of emotions as villagers try to get along, secrets are revealed and lives are reclaimed. This event also includes a post-show discussion with Theatre Tonic on their personal experiences of therapeutic theatre with Bazooka Arts, part of a series of events titled The Art of Being Me.


Portobello, Edinburgh, All Day

A group of artists have come together to create a new and exciting installation in the Porty Light Box, an old BT phone box. Exploring ideas of stigma and isolation, they have developed imagery that works in this unique space.


The Birks Cinema, Aberfeldy, 7–8.30pm

Nominated for both Best Director and Best Writer at the Scottish BAFTAs, Hope Dickson Leach’s excellent debut feature is a superbly shot and piercingly acted realist tragedy. When Clover Catto receives a call telling her that her younger brother Harry is dead, she must return to her family farm and face the man she hasn’t spoken to in years: her father Aubrey.


Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock, 1–3pm

A warm welcome awaits you at this concert from community singing group Clydeside Singers. Their ethos is based on music therapy in action whilst singing for fun! Based in Inverclyde, they have sung in various locations under the charity GCAS.


Loch Ness Barge, Inverness, 6.30–8pm

A series of storytelling workshops to create stories about resilience and reclamation, then practice delivering them for best effect. Participants will be invited to read the stories at a fireside event at Dunain Community Woodland in a nature performance spectacular on Sat 21 Oct.

Find out more about World Mental Health Day from the Mental Health Foundation here