We are very pleased to confirm that the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival (SMHAF) will return to venues across Scotland from 7-27 May 2018.

This will be the first time SMHAF has taken place in the Spring and marks the beginning of an exciting new phase for both the festival and the Mental Heath Foundation’s year-round arts programme.

Our 12th annual festival – timed to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week – will once again take place all across Scotland, engaging with artists, connecting with communities, celebrating the artistic achievements of people with lived experience of mental health issues, exploring the relationship between creativity and the mind and promoting positive mental health and wellbeing.

The theme for our 2018 programme will be Beginnings, selected partly to mark the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People 2018. As part of the celebrations we have an exciting programme of work funded by EventScotland, including: a Youth Panel which will inform a range of youth focused events at SMHAF and create a record of the festival through the eyes of a younger audience; Vox Liminis leading a Kin: Branching Out, a young people’s arts collective, comprising of young people who have personal experience of the imprisonment of a parent or sibling; Into Film working with youth film clubs across Scotland to encourage and facilitate the creation of youth made content for the festival; Cultured Mongrel Artistic Director/ SMHAF Associate Artist Emma Jayne Park working with dancer James Fogerty to create site specific dance performances at Hillhead Library inspired by books for children and young people that work with the themes of mental health.

Other festival highlights will include the return of our prestigious International Film Competition (the winners of which will once again be showcased at the CCA in Glasgow) and writing competition, the launch of a new book of stories from transgender and non-binary people across the world (created in partnership with the National Theatre of Scotland’s Adam World Choir) and the return to Scotland of Mental, winner of the first ever Mental Health Fringe Award at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe.

The full festival programme will be announced in April – follow us on Twitter or Facebook for updates.