Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 13-19 May 2019. The theme this year is body image – how we think and feel about our bodies. 

There are plenty of ways for you to get involved during Mental Health Awareness Week but one of the best ways to start a conversation about mental health is to join us for some of the events taking place as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival. 

There is so much happening across the country but here are our top ten highlights from the week. 


An Artist’s Eyes

The latest film by Jack Bond (Dali in New York, The Blue-Black Hussar), An Artist’s Eyes explores what drives Chris Moon to paint, despite his perpetual anxiety and depression. Followed by a discussion with artist Emily Furneaux, Real Talk’s Lily Asch and Jonny Kinross from the Grassmarket Community Project on the connections between creativity and mental health. 

Mon 13 May, 7-9pm | Grassmarket Community Project, Edinburgh



Winner of the Mental Health Fringe Award 2018, a prize founded by the Mental Health Foundation in recognition of the most outstanding show exploring mental health at the Edinburgh Fringe, Electrolyte  is a multi-award winning piece of gig theatre based on real-life experiences with psychosis. Follow Jessie through gigs, parties, city streets and warehouses, journeying from Leeds to London, on a quest to find her mother.

Tue 14 May, 7.30-9pm | Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Wed 15-18 May, 8-9.30pm | Tron Theatre, Glasgow


Doing It Our Way

A day of conversation, performance and art that explores the lived experiences of North Ayrshire and Arran’s mental health community. Discussions will centre around a piece of theatre by Mariem Omari and Mark Jeary that explores the fine line between mental health and mental illness.

Fri 17 May, 10.30am-2.30pm | The Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine


Final Ascent: The Legend of Hamish MacInnes

At the age of 84, renowned mountaineer Hamish MacInnes suffered from delirium after contracting an illness and emerged to find his memory gone. Piecing together his remarkable life using his books and films, this affecting documentary reflects his journey to recover his identity, representing his greatest challenge yet. During Mental Health Awareness Week, we present two screenings including Q&As with director Robbie Fraser. These take place at An Lanntair, Stornoway, hosted by Andrew Eaton-Lewis, and Eden Court, Inverness, hosted by Creativity in Care. 

Sat 18 May, 8-10pm | An Lanntair, Stornoway

Sun 19 May, 2-4pm | Eden Court, Inverness


Finding Yourself

Artist in Residence, Jim Buchanan, will be demonstrating the mental health benefits of labyrinth creation. These are creative workshops, aimed to increase confidence and wellbeing. No previous knowledge of labyrinths required. 

World Labyrinth Day 4 May

Wed 15 May, 10am-12.30pm | STAR Project, Paisley


The Inspire Project

An inclusive collection of music and dance performance to raise funds for MHF Live. There will be performances from High School of Glasgow Jazz Band, Paragon Music, NYCoS ED Boys Choir, DanceSing, J&J Dance, presented by special guest host Ali Douglas. This event is taking place as part of the Bearsden Festival, which runs from 10-19 May 2019. 

Sat 18 May, 7.30-9.45pm | New Kilpatrick Church New Halls, Bearsden


She Stepped Backwards in Front of the Words Behind Her

Collect a map and listening materials to experience this participatory artwork in the form of an audio tour in the city of Glasgow, conjuring artist Emily Furneaux’s own experiences of slipping into a state of psychosis. Emily is also teaming up with CAPS Independent Advocacy to host an active discussion in Edinburgh designed to creatively explore the experience of psychosis. 

She Stepped Backwards

9-26 May, Thu-Sun, 12-4pm (Collect Map and Audio) | Many Studios, Glasgow

Wed 15 May, 6-8.30pm | CAPS Independent Advocacy, Edinburgh


Song Wave

For the festival, the Song Wave project will create a beautiful tribute to Scott Hutchison in recognition of his experiences with mental health issues and the legacy he left of hope and kindness – and of the importance of connecting with those around you. Learn a new song, curated and arranged by Clare Watson, inspired by Frightened Rabbit’s The Loneliness and the Scream. Join #SongWave and post your pop-up performance on social media. Download lyrics and sheet music here


Fri 17 May, All Day | The Borders



Artist and See Me Community Champion Abi Pirani presents this work-in-progress, which explores the long-term impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences, particularly on mental health. Using puppets, it tells a story of the child’s incomprehension, the impact of survival and tracing back through memories to untangle their impact. Followed by a discussion with the creator. 


Tue 14-Wed 15 May, Various Times | Project Ability, Glasgow


Women’s Open Mic

A special SMHAF edition of this regular open mic night for women and non-binary performers, featuring music, spoken word, comedy dance and more. For all ages, languages and styles! There will also be international food pot luck, so bring your own dish if you can. Performance slots will be available on the night. 

Womens Open mic

Mon 13 May, 6.30-9.30pm | Aberdeen Multicultural Centre, Aberdeen


For more ways to get involved with Mental Health Awareness Week, please visit The Mental Health Foundation has also published new research into the impact of body image on mental health. Read it here: Body Image: How we think and feel about our bodies

#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek | #BeBodyKind