70 Stories is an online project curated by the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival to mark the 70th anniversary of the Mental Health Foundation.

The project connects stories from our Writing Competition, stories from SMHAF participants, and more in a compelling portrait of mental health in 2019.

Keep an eye on this page for new entries in the series. If you are connected in some way to SMHAF or the Mental Health Foundation and would like to contribute a piece of writing to this project, please contact [email protected].

May 10, 2020

#24 Reality Check

by Graham Morgan

'I remember when sometimes I lived; when I inhabited life.'
January 14, 2020

#23 A Way From Rage

by Heir of the Cursed

'Take time to tend / Before the rot sets in / Before the root and stem fall to ruin / And don't pretend that all is forgiven...'
October 25, 2019

#22 There Is No Armour That Can Defend Us Now

by Jo Clifford

'When I was a child I was born into a wounded world.'
October 18, 2019

#21 All Of This Is Ordinary

by Jenny Lindsay

'All of this is ordinary. / Do not mistake that for normal.'
September 30, 2019

#20 We Are All On This Platform Together

by Fiona Rattray

'We are all still afraid of the dark sometimes. Why wouldn’t we be?'
September 30, 2019

#19 Goosegrass

by Nuala

'There is nothing so tender as a mouse, upon the hand of a child, heart beating.'
September 17, 2019

#18 A Moment

by Eilidh Clark

'A pair, connected. Then the train rumbled out of the station.'
September 17, 2019

#17 The Keeper of the Keys

by Ewan Gault

'I escape down a cobbled alley where graffiti artists have practised their art in pyrotechnic snarls.'
September 17, 2019

#16 Twenty Five, Vanilla Milkshake

by Benny Allen

'Otto’s laughing, telling himself a story. And his eyes flicker behind his glasses smeared with dandruff and dust.'
September 17, 2019

#15 Fragments

by Shirley Gillan

'My heart broke as I left your warm embrace; it continues to bleed.'
September 06, 2019

#14 A Letter to My Younger Self

by Jen Henderson

"Hi there. / I know things haven't been going so well / you fell / and don't know how to get back up"
August 16, 2019

#13 Alarm

by Hannah Retallick

'He stood close to the edge of the platform, past the yellow line, stooping slightly. You know I follow my instincts. Well, my instinct was that I needed to talk to…
August 14, 2019

#12 Electrolyte

by James Meteyard

"This small world, these small minds, with small dreams that are not mine. I need more than what you want. I need more than this."
June 13, 2019

#11 Affirmations

by William Sutton

'You're all so relentlessly positive. I can't bear it.'
June 13, 2019

#10 I'm Doing My Best

by Cathie Devitt

'You stared past me, hiding behind those heavy curtains.'
June 13, 2019

#9 Under Pressure

by Laura Barbour

'He imagined those beautiful men touching each other’s hair and holding hands.'
June 13, 2019

#8 I Am

by Jo Clifford

'Valuing our stories helps us to learn to value ourselves.'
June 13, 2019

#7 Hysteria!

by Julia Taudevin

'Those rose tinted glasses are cracked now, aren't they?'
May 30, 2019

#6 Shoormal

by Aileen Paterson

'I love the salt edge in your smile, the lilt in your voice, like a song.'
May 30, 2019

#5 Message in a Bottle

by Eilidh Clark

'She sees him strike a match, can almost hear the hiss of the flame. He lights the corner of the paper and lets it float into the air.'
May 30, 2019

#4 In Sync

by Alyson Lawson

'I’m crying cos I feel like everything’s different, like I’ve lost something. And I’m crying cos I’ve found something. I’m crying cos I know things now.'
May 22, 2019

#3 Still Hingin Oan

by Brian Reid

"can you hear me / whit-dae-ye-ma-call-it / ehm, thingmy / aye, ahm feelin terrible"
May 22, 2019

#2 Outside In

by Shirley Gillan

'She had been there on a Wednesday.  If he didn’t go now, he would never go.  If she wasn’t there, well … every sun has to set.'
May 21, 2019

#1 The Imagined We

by Jenny Lindsay

For the first entry in our 70 Stories collection, poet Jenny Lindsay, a regular participant in SMHAF since 2015, shares a new film poem.


MHF 70th Anniversary SCOTLAND TEAL1