The Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival is programmed by people from all across Scotland. To celebrate this year’s Connected theme, we want to introduce you to some of them. Today, we meet Cat Young, who coordinates SMHAF activities across Edinburgh and Lothian.

Where are you from and what do you do?

I live and work in Edinburgh. I work for Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership on Mental Health and Wellbeing. One of my key remits is supporting our Arts Programme ‘A Sense of Belonging’ which includes coordinating SMHAF across Edinburgh and Lothian.

What does ‘Connected’, SMHAF’s theme this year, mean to you?

It makes me think about the things in my life with meaning that help me feel happy, hopeful, and satisfied, but also these things yet to be explored that may be able to do that.

How long have you been putting on events at this festival, and what made you get involved?

For approximately five years, mainly my work but also my love of the arts and belief in the power of arts to break down barriers and create community.

Can you give us an example – more than one if you like – of an event in your area that sums up the spirit of the festival?

I love the events which are connecting people to the natural environment such as Art and Nature (North Edinburgh Arts) and The Nature Play Connection (8th May).

Who or what do you feel most connected to?

My roots on Mull!

What are you most looking forward to at this year’s festival?

I think they will all be amazing so I’m not choosing one! Sorry. But if i have to say one: Heavy Sound Connected – By the Heavy Sound Community (Monday 13th May). This is a workshop in East Lothian aimed at Care experienced young people to explore expression and their experience through connecting with music.

Click here to find out more about events taking place in Edinburgh during SMHAF 2019.