The Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival: LANARKSHIRE
Opportunity for Festival Involvement
The Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival is one of Scotland’s most diverse cultural events, covering everything from music, film and visual art to theatre, dance, and literature. The annual festival will take place in venues across Scotland from the 6th – 26th May 2019, aiming to support the arts and challenge preconceived ideas about mental health. This year is the 13th year of the festival with the theme of CONNECTED.
The festival reminds us all, that mental health is important to all of us and we must all value and look after ours and others mental health. Being, involved, creative, connected, learning new things are very important to our mental health and therefore the festival is for all of us. The festival also aims to promote positive attitudes towards mental health and mental illness.
Despite the fact that most people will have some personal experience of mental ill health, stigma, discrimination and inequality experienced by people, young and old, who have or have had mental health care needs is common place within our society.
The Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival provides a platform to challenge, engage and explore the issues and themes around mental health.
The Lanarkshire festival steering group have met to discuss plans for the 2019 Lanarkshire festival. The group have agreed they would like to offer schools the opportunity to develop an arts
programme, whether that be art, drama, poetry, short story or other form of art or a variety of different arts. The festival team have a small amount of funding available that could support the school’s with showcasing their creative development during the festival in May 2019.
Creativity is well recognised for its potential to heal people, express hidden emotions, reduce stress, fear and anxiety, and promote a sense of autonomy. Engaging young people in the arts can inspire
and motivate, opening up new possibilities for creative expression and imagination. It can stimulate a young person’s ability to question and connect with the world around them, and nurture positive aspirations, confidence and the capacity for autonomous critical thought. It can also help young people to develop the resilience to manage challenging life circumstances.
Arts projects in schools can be used to raise awareness of mental health issues and challenge stigmatising attitudes. Arts experiences challenge young people’s sense of themselves in a very different way to formal education, providing different opportunities for young people to explore their identity, skills and abilities. As a consequence, young people report a sense of enjoyment and
achievement in creating art. They also demonstrate greater levels of motivation, improved self-esteem, self-awareness, resilience and community engagement. Many evaluations of arts interventions document their effectiveness in re-engaging young people.
Sellman, E. with Cunliffe, A. (2012)
If your school would like to be involved in the 2019 Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival please could you respond to me by Friday 11th January 2019 ( email@example.com), Either myself or someone from the festival team will be happy to come out in January to discuss your ideas & support you where we can.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Senior Health Promotion Officer, NHS Lanarkshire
Lanarkshire Mental Health Arts Festival Coordinator
On behalf of the Lanarkshire SMHAF Steering Group