Now in its 15th year, the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival (SMHAF) is one of Scotland's most diverse cultural events, covering everything from music, film and visual art to theatre, dance, and literature.
In 2021, SMHAF will take place from 3-23 May - online at mhfestival.com and in regions across Scotland - and explore the theme of 'Normality?'.
It aims to support the arts, explore how engagement in the arts can help prevent mental ill health, and challenge mental health stigma. Led by the Mental Health Foundation, SMHAF combines high artistic quality with strong grassroots support, community engagement and social activism.
By engaging with artists, connecting with communities and forming collaborations, we celebrate the artistic achievements of people with experience of mental health issues, exploring the relationship between creativity and the mind, and promoting positive mental health and wellbeing.
Launched in 2007, SMHAF has grown into one of the largest festivals of its kind in the world, with over 300 events and 25,000 attendees across Scotland each year. Its innovative approach, combining high quality artistic events with community led programming and a social justice agenda, has been replicated internationally.
Led by the Mental Health Foundation, it has since expanded its arts activity into a year round programme, branded Mental Health Arts. This programme is supported by See Me, Scotland’s programme to end mental health stigma, and open funding from Creative Scotland.
The aims of SMHAF are to:
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