Crowds Descend on Mental Health Festival
The third Perth and Kinross Mental Health and Wellbeing Festival took place this weekend, with visitors from all walks of life participating in everything from circus skills and Pickleball to mindful photography and arts and crafts.
The free festival, which took place at Perth Concert Hall on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 2023, was organised by Perth charity Trauma Healing Together in conjunction with a range of partners offering mental health support throughout Perth and Perthshire.
Organised with the theme of ‘Mental Health for All: Promoting Inclusivity and Connection’, the festival aimed to break down the barriers people face when seeking or accessing support. Visitors had the chance to explore and enjoy mindful photography, arts and crafts, a silent disco, circus skills and all-ability fitness, while also tapping into support with autism, women’s health, trauma and suicide prevention. On the run-up to the festival, over 20 Connection Cafes were also held to include and entice people from outlying communities to get involved and reach out to the partner agencies and local support groups.
Roxanne Kerr, Founder of Trauma Healing Together said, “We were delighted to see so many people joining us this weekend. Some were even queuing before it began! With this year’s theme of inclusion and connection, we had worked hard to create a packed programme of workshops, activities and talks that would appeal to everyone, regardless of their age, gender, culture or geographical location. It was amazing to see people connect and relax through sport and exercise, arts and crafts and even our Giant Kerplunk game! While everyone is unique, we all have mental health and there was a definite sense of people coming together from all walks of life, just as they did during our programme of Connection Cafes.
“The festival was also a great chance for people to touch base with the many support organisations committed to supporting our communities. We hear so much about waiting lists for mental health support but there’s so much support out there, and something for everyone. Taking that first step in seeking support can be difficult but the festival provided an informal, safe space for that, improving accessibility and awareness of the help and support that’s out there.”
Further boosting its drive for inclusion, the festival also offered free Stagecoach bus transport to and from the festival and a free breakfast and lunch for all visitors.
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 was organised by Trauma Healing Together with support from All Strong, Change Mental Health, Linda’s Ladies, Live Active Sport, 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