Mental Health Festival to Connect Communities

Organisers of this year’s Perth and Kinross Mental Health and Wellbeing Festival are on a mission to reach people struggling to request or access support.

As Mental Health Awareness Week (15-21 May 2023) kicks off, Perth charity Trauma Healing Together has announced that the free weekend festival will return to Perth Concert Hall on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 August 2023.

Now in its third year, with the first festival held online due to Covid-19 lockdowns, this year’s theme is ‘Mental Health for All: Promoting Inclusivity and Connection’, aimed at breaking down the barriers people face when seeking or accessing support.

Credit – Kelly McIntyre Photography.

With a programme of activities, talks and workshops taking shape to attract anyone struggling with their mental health and wellbeing, visitors will be able to 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. There will also be a programme of ‘Connection Cafés’ across Perth and Perthshire, connecting local people with the myriad of agencies and charities operating locally over coffee and cake.

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.


Credit – Kelly McIntyre Photography.

In addition, the charity has secured Big Give match funding, which will match donations made to Trauma Healing Together during Mental Health Awareness Week. For example, £50 donated by an individual will be doubled to £100. Trauma Healing Together hopes to raise £5,000 this week to support their core work including the festival.

Roxanne Kerr, Founder of Trauma Healing Together, said, “Last year’s event attracted around 400 people from all walks of life, from teenagers and parents to the elderly.  This year, we’re eager to widen that pool to an even broader cross-spectrum of society.

Roxanne Kerr

Roxanne Kerr. Credit – Kelly McIntyre Photography.

“We know from our work that many people face a brick wall when accessing support.  Sometimes that’s down to their inner voice – feelings of shame, habits of self-reliance, not recognising they need help or because their upbringing dissuaded them from opening up. Others struggle to put their feelings into words, assume there’s no help out there, or think the waiting lists are prohibitive when there may be other options. There can also be cultural, financial or language barriers, with rural communities often feeling cut off from support.

“Regardless of what’s going on in your life, there is support out there – much of it free of charge – that can be tailored to your specific situation and challenges. Whether you’re seeking tips to help with wellbeing or struggling with a mental health condition, we will provide an inclusive space to connect with others and reach out to local groups who can provide further support.”

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.

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