News – Mental Health

Lasting impacts from this year’s SMHAF events

We had a great response to our Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival events during October 2017! Many thanks to everyone who helped support the events and to all of the people who came along to enjoy them.

The Reclaim Exhibition at the Howgate Community Hub impressed visitors by featuring work from over 50 Forth Valley-based artists, including established artists Lesley Anne Derks, Catherine King and Karen Strang. Styles ranged from photorealism to surreal pieces and highlighted the talent and diversity of local artists, with one visitor commenting “I have been introduced to new artists, a brilliant learning experience for me”. The exhibition was opened by our very own FDAMH Freedom of Mind Choir who performed a selection of uplifting songs to celebrate World Mental Health Day. Participating artist Karen Strang said “Creative practice and sharing ideas is always a positive. As humans we need to express our lives and learn through other’s experiences and this is what art does. It instills a sense of curiosity fundamental to empathising with others in our community . Artists from all walks of life each bring something to the feast . This is about celebration but also reflection. About understanding what it is to be human. Take art and its possibilities away from people and we are left with a void of emotional and intellectual existence. Art is necessary.” A huge thank you to Jim Boyle, Linda McFarlane, Steven Mcrystal, Lynne Knox, Julie Law and Marjory Sime who helped install the exhibition.

To let people get hands on with their creativity we ran two one-off workshops int the Howgate Community Hub: Felt Making expertly led by textile artist Lynne Knox and Story Telling workshop run by local poet and writer Janet Crawford and attended by special guest Emma Mooney. These events were very well attended and comments from participants indicate they will have a lasting impact with many keen to pursue the activities further. Participants particularly enjoyed the relaxing and therapeutic qualities of felting and the opportunity for self-expression, acceptance, sharing and ‘me-time’ offered in the Story Telling event. Comments from workshop feedback include:

“I felt totally at ease, I was able to express myself in a very open way and this has boosted my confidence”
“This has been so relaxing”
“This class has helped me discover a new self-care activity”
“Everyone felt safe to pour out their inner thoughts which was very impressive”
“I felt like what I said mattered”
“Gave some nice perspectives in to how empowering it can be to write”
“I felt accepted, appreciated and heard”
“The facilitator was great! She made it really easy to write”
“I loved being part of a sharing group who learnt from others, I have thoroughly enjoyed my day!”
“I felt very comfortable, the facilitator had a wonderful presence and she gave us lots of fun activities”
“This class has helped me to be more creative – it’s been inspirational”

Our events were completed with a Film Screening at Falkirk Library. A selection of short films were created by FDAMH volunteers, in collaboration with local filmmakers and musicians. The screening showcased various aspects of FDAMH as well as some of the arts programmes including: music, spoken word and drama. These films explore a range of mental health themes and highlight how important the arts are to recovery. If you missed it you don’t have to worry as they are available to watch on the FDAMH YouTube channel.

FDAMH YouTube Channel

Tag: Events, Mental Health
05/12/2017 at 12:22 pm



We loved meeting you at FDAMH’s Open Day!

[caption id=”attachment_13197″ align=”alignnone” width=”500″]Alan Bissett Co-patron Alan Bissett joined us at our September Open Day[/caption]

We had lots of great conversations on our Open Day last week with people from a wide variety of backgrounds, including Education, the NHS, Social Work, local businesses and local and national Government. We’d like to thank everyone who took the time out of very busy schedules to visit. Our staff all agree the day was very beneficial to them and we hope all of our guests feel the same way!

A big thank you goes out to all of the volunteers who did a brilliant job helping us out on the day and making sure everyone was made welcome, and, not least, to those who came along to share their personal experiences with our guests.

On the day we asked people for their ‘One wish for mental health in Forth Valley’. Here’s a small selection:

“I wish you weren’t so much needed”
“For there to be a greater awareness of how mental health affects everyone – it isn’t just people suffering at the extremes”
“Funding would be solid and continue and we can work together”
“That people who need services can access them promptly”
“I would want everyone with mental health issues to benefit from FDAMH”
“Sufficient funding especially for children and adolescents”
“Services to support under 14s”
“That professionals would listen to family members who are with the ill person day in day out”

Read the Full Feedback Document.

Tag: FDAMH, Mental Health, User Involvement & Consultation
21/09/2017 at 1:03 pm



Fantastic Line-up of FDAMH Events for SMHAFF

‘Reclaim’ your sense of self with FDAMH’s October events for the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival (SMHAFF).

We have a fantastic series of exhibitions, performances and workshops to inspire you and get you hands-on involved in your own reclamation work, whatever form it takes! Learn how embracing creativity and self-expression through the Arts can help us all to look after our wellbeing.

SMHAFF Poster

Reclaim
Visual Arts Exhibition from Local Artists

Exhibition featuring work from over 50 Forth Valley-based artists, including established artists Lesley Anne Derks, Catherine King and Karen Strang and input from final year students at local schools. Styles range from photorealism to surreal pieces, highlighting the talent and diversity of local artists.
10–13 Oct
10am–5pm
The Howgate Community Hub, High Street, Falkirk FK1 1HG
Free | Info: 01324 671 600, emily.stewart@fdamh.org.uk

Freedom of Mind Choir
FDAMH’s Freedom of Mind Choir will perform a selection of uplifting songs to celebrate World Mental Health Day, as well as the Reclaim exhibition opening.
Tue 10 Oct
1–2pm
The Howgate Community Hub, High Street, Falkirk FK1 1HG
Free

Reclaim: Felt Workshop
Free Workshop

Led by textile artist Lynne Knox, this workshop will guide participants through basic felt techniques, helping to reclaim boring everyday items and turn them into something beautiful.
Thu 12 Oct
2–4pm
The Howgate Community Hub, High Street, Falkirk FK1 1HG
Free Tickets | Book Online

Reclaim Your Identity: Storytelling Workshop
Free Workshop

Poet Janet Crawford leads a storytelling workshop, with a focus on the theme of reclaiming your identity. Join in some fun group exercises and explore a range of creative writing techniques to create your own piece of poetry or prose.
Fri/13th Oct
2–4pm
The Howgate Community Hub, High Street, Falkirk FK1 1HG
Free Tickets | Book Online

Reclaim: Film Screenings
A selection of short films created by FDAMH, in collaboration with local filmmakers and musicians. Showcasing various aspects of the FDAMH arts programme, including music, spoken word and drama, these films explore a range of mental health themes and highlight how important the arts are to recovery.
Mon 16 Oct
10–11am, 5–6pm & 7–8pm
Falkirk Library, Hope Street, Falkirk FK1 5AU
Free | Info: 01324 671 600, emily.stewart@fdamh.org.uk

Tag: Events, Mental Health
29/08/2017 at 10:23 am



Are you into film making?

Call to filmakers poster

The Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival (SMHAFF) are looking for film makers to submit their work for the SMHAFF film event that will be running on the 16th of October in Falkirk.

You must have direct experience of using FDAMH’s services to take part and your work should not be longer than 10 minutes.

The deadline for submissions is 11th September.

If you would like a submission form or more information please contact Emily at FDAMH on 01324 671600 or email Emily

Tag: Activities, Mental Health
24/07/2017 at 11:40 am



Depression: Let’s Talk

Depression: Let's talk

Depression is the focus of this year’s World Health Day on Friday 7th April.

You might be surprised to learn that depression is common. Close to 10% of the world’s population are affected by depression or anxiety. In Scotland that amounts to an estimated 50,000 people.

We’re joining the call encouraging you to talk about depression and mental health in general. When people feel safe to be more open about these issues it makes it easier for them to seek and get help.

Depression is a treatable illness. People do recover. Let’s talk.

You can start learning about Depression with straightforward Handouts from the World Health Organization: from keeping yourself mentally strong to what to do when you’re worried someone you know might be suicidal.
Handouts on Depression

Tag: Mental Health
04/04/2017 at 7:35 pm



Being Frank Returns

Our powerful play ‘Being Frank’ is making a fresh return this Spring.

Being Frank is a dramatic portrayal of real experiences to give you a deeper understanding of mental health and how poor mental health can affect anyone. And it shows the importance of the everyday small kindnesses that you can offer to help others as they recover.

Last year’s feedback emphasised the powerful insights gained by audiences, including those working and studying in mental health related fields.

Our Drama Group are working hard to promote a positive message about mental health. Help us break the stigma and join us, for free, at one of our upcoming performances:

Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling University on 5th April and 9th May at 2pm – Book for Free Online.

Behind the Wall, Falkirk on 11th May at 7pm – Tickets available at FDAMH reception

Being Frank

Tag: Activities, Mental Health
21/03/2017 at 4:04 pm