The Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival (SMHAF) is moving to new dates in 2023, returning from 4-22 October, exploring the theme of ‘revolution’.

SMHAF 2023: ‘Revolution’

‘Revolution’ was chosen to reflect a desire – in the midst of turbulent political and economic times – to address the impact of economic barriers and social inequality on mental health.

It also reflects our ambitions at the Mental Health Foundation to identify the changes we need to make as a society to achieve good mental health for all, with a focus on those who are at greatest risk.

SMHAF 2023 will be an exercise in ‘art as activism’, with a programme designed as a collective statement and manifesto for social change.

What kind of ‘revolution’ would you like to see? What needs to happen for everyone to have the opportunity to live mentally healthier lives? How can we be more radical when it comes to mental health and the arts?

We are calling on everyone across Scotland to join the ‘revolution’ next October. We want to hear from artists, activists, organisations and communities who would like to get involved, develop local activity or propose events for our national programme.

Some Changes

Like many organisations, we have also been reflecting on the work we do recently. And, in keeping with the theme of ‘revolution’, we’re planning to make some changes for next year.

Firstly, SMHAF will be moving back to its original home in October after five years in May. This will enable our communities to engage fully in SMHAF and Mental Health Awareness Week, creating more space for us to develop a genuinely year-round programme of activity.

We are also aiming to develop our film programme into a standalone festival, with the next programme taking place from May 2024.

Our film programme is always a major highlight and we want to enable it develop it further, including through enhanced community engagement and audience development across Scotland. You can find more information here.

Get in Touch

If you would like to get involved or have any questions about our plans for the festival, please email us at

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