Festival that’s good for your health

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FORGET staid lectures and dull advice clinics — this month, the cause for mental health is taking to the stage.

The Scottish Mental Health arts and film festival kicks off on Monday, with a programme of events in theatre, film, music, dance, comedy, literature and visual arts running throughout the country until October 24.

The theme is walk in my shoes, and there are 250 events running nationwide — everything from a community opera to a bipolar circus.

Highlights include a film festival within the festival, with the Glasgow Film Theatre showing multiple related pieces, and, in literature, a flâneuring workshop, courtesy of Liz Lochhead, at Kelvingrove art gallery.

Eastwood park theatre is in on the action, staging Box of Frogs – a performance piece incorporating circus play to convey emotional instability.

Gigs are taking place across the country, and in Glasgow, it’s a chance for families affected by homelessness to shine, as they stage a community opera at Maryhill burgh halls.

Lee Knifton, festival director, commented: “The arts allow you to explore meaning in a fun way, to engage your emotions and connect with one another emotionally as well as intellectually”.

With five previous years under its belt, the mental health festival seems to be proving just that.

A full programme of events can be found at www.mhfestival.com.