Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival (SMHAF)

The Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival (SMHAF) is an internationally respected annual programme to support the arts, explore how engagement in the arts can help prevent mental ill-health and challenge preconceived ideas about mental health.

The aims of the festival are to:

  • Explore how the arts can contribute to preventing mental health issues
  • Challenge perceptions of mental ill health
  • Make connections across communities
  • Develop audiences for the arts in Scotland and beyond
  • Encourage participation in the arts to promote good mental health
  • Provide a platform for people to create and share work about mental health

The Mental Health Foundation is a key partner in the Northern Irish Mental Health Arts Festival (NIMHAF), and our pioneering work inspires new programmes elsewhere.

A person performing with a microphone, in front of the MHF Scotland logo

In addition to the annual festival, the arts programme takes place throughout the year. Current projects include a new Mental Health Arts Network, supported by the Baring Foundation, Reclaiming Our Heritage oral history project, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the annual Out of Sight, Out of Mind exhibition, led by CAPS Independent Advocacy.

Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival 2023

Join the revolution this October as the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival returns! Taking place across Scotland from 4-22 October, and led by the Mental Health Foundation, this year’s festival explores the theme of ‘revolution’. 

In the midst of political and economic turbulence, the festival will confront the impact of economic barriers and social inequality on our mental health, and ask ‘how we can do things differently?’. 

The theme will be brought vividly to life through a diverse, multi-arts programme spanning music, film, theatre, art, discussion, creative workshops and more – with many events programmed by community groups and community-focused organisations, reflecting the festival’s ‘grassroots up’ approach. 

Explore the programme & book tickets here

A big crowd attending SMHAF 2022, in front a neon sign of the SMHAF logo

Explore the SMHAF website

Find out more about SMHAF and the events that are running during the 2023 programme.
Find out more
Photo from Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival, featuring the crowd and the logo in a neon sign
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