Passion takes centre stage at launch of 2015 Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival Highland

The Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival (SMHAFF) returns to Highland this October to challenge attitudes towards mental health via the arts. This year’s Festival theme is ‘Passion’, with events exploring what people are passionate about and how this passion can be expressed.

This will be showcased at the “Passion for the Highlands” Launch Night on Thursday 1 October at the Inverness Town House.

The Festival takes place annually in venues across Scotland throughout October, aiming to support the arts and challenge preconceived ideas about mental health. The Festival celebrates the artistic achievements of people with experience of mental health issues, exploring the relationship between creativity and the mind, and promotes positive mental health and wellbeing.

A variety of events are taking place across Highland between 1 and 31 October, kicking off with the “Passion for the Highlands” Launch Night on Thursday 1 October at 6.30pm at the Inverness Town House. The night will be hosted by STV’s Nicola McAlley, who is also a Birchwood Highland ambassador.

On the night there will be films from local Highland groups Befrienders Highland and Birchwood Highland, showing how friendships and relationships with a variety of people can have a positive impact on one’s mental health. There will be spoken word performances from members of HUG, who will showcase the work that has been composed in their creative writing group throughout the year.

We will also see the award-winning animation ‘Sea Front’ and have a discussion with the creator, Claire Lamond, and the winners of this year’s ‘Passion for the Highlands’ photography competition will be announced.

This year’s launch will also have a focus on young people, with a screening of the winning performances from this year’s ‘Rock Challenge’ competition from Bridgend Primary School and Alness Academy, as well as hearing from Youth Highland about how their peer education sessions are supporting young people.

The launch night is free to attend but booking is essential. Please email policy6@highland.gov.uk to book your place.

For more details about the festival please visit the SMHAFF Highland webpage on the Highland Council website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
21 Sep 2015
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