Connecting Through Coffee and Cake
Over 20 Connection Cafes are being organised on the run-up to this year’s Perth and Kinross Mental Health and Wellbeing Festival.
The free events will connect local people with the myriad of agencies and charities operating locally over coffee and cake.
With the first taking place at Blairgowrie’s creative community hub NEST in Blairgowrie on Tuesday 6 June 2023, Connection Cafes will be held at various venues throughout Perth and Perthshire, from the North Inch and local cafes to a music group, addiction recovery centre and Autism support group.
The full programme can be viewed at Mental Health Festival 2023 | Trauma-Healing-Toget (traumahealingtogether.org)
The Connection Cafes are being held as this year’s festival approaches, returning to Perth Concert Hall on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 August 2023. Now in its third year, this year’s festival theme is ‘Mental Health for All: Promoting Inclusivity and Connection’, aimed at breaking down the barriers people face when seeking or accessing support.
Roxanne Kerr, Founder of Perth charity Trauma Healing Together, who organises the annual festival, commented, “It’s not always easy to take that first step and reach out for support but, by creating an informal space where you can pop in for a coffee, tea and cake, people can turn up, meet those involve and discover more about the range of services and support that exist locally.
“Our Connection Cafes will also dispel the myth that mental health support is all about therapy – everyone is unique, support takes many forms and we need to shine a light on that choice. Connection Cafes are also taking place right across Perth and Perthshire, making them accessible to everyone. No-one should be excluded from mental health support due to location or accessibility challenges. There’s a fantastic array of services all over the region and it’s important that people feel empowered to choose what’s right for them.”
Tracie Dick, Director and Facilities Manager of NEST in Blairgowrie, is hosting two cafes – 6 June and 27 July. She explained, “Our social enterprise is all about connection and wellbeing so we’re delighted to be hosting two Connection Cafés on the approach to the festival.
“We’re committed to improving wellbeing and reducing loneliness through crafts but we pride ourselves on being a warm and welcoming environment to everyone, regardless of their creative skills. The Connection Cafés will allow people to drop in, learn new skills, socialise and leave in a better mood than when they walked in the door. If we can positively impact someone’s day, we’ve done our job! People can bring along their own craft project to work on, have a go at some Decoupage or Collage, or just have a chat to find out more, meet some new people or get some inspiration to try something new.”
With a programme of activities, talks and workshops taking shape to attract anyone struggling with their mental health and wellbeing, visitors to the August festival can explore everything from mindful photography, arts and crafts, a silent disco and all-ability fitness to art journalling, while also tapping into support with autism and trauma.
This year’s festival is funded by the Scottish Government’s Perth and Kinross Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund and Perth and Kinross Council’s Community Investment Fund.
Perth and Kinross Mental Health and Wellbeing Festival is organised by Trauma Healing Together with support from All Strong, Change Mental Health, Linda’s Ladies, Live Active, Kelly McIntyre Photography, MoveAhead, Perth Autism, Perth Minorities Association, Plus Perth, Stephen Lyon Organisation, Endometriosis UK Dundee Support Group, Project Forte, ESOL, Trinity Church, Mindspace, SCARF, Starting Step, and Vitality Me.
For more information, visit https://www.traumahealingtogether.org/mental-health-festival-2023