What’s on at the Renfrewshire Mental Health Arts Festival

Thursday 3rd May, 2018

Now in its 12th year, the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival (SMHAF) is one of Scotland’s most diverse cultural events, covering everything from music, film and visual art to theatre, dance, and literature.

The annual festival takes place in venues across Scotland from 7-27 May 2018, aiming to support the arts and challenge preconceived ideas about mental health.

Renfrewshire has always boasted a jam-packed schedule for the festival and this year is no exception. Here are just some of the events taking place as part of Renfrewshire Mental Health Arts Festival (RMHAF):

Youth Mental Health Arts Festival: Creative Showcase – 4 May – 7 – 9pm – Paisley Arts Centre

Young people will use mediums including dance, music, poetry, films and storytelling to explore issues affecting their mental health.

Part of Renfrewshire’s first Youth Mental Health Arts Festival, a weekend of activities is presented as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018.

RMHAF launch event – Caring Conversations – 8 May – 12 – 1pm Wevolution, Moss Street

Brought together by artist Josie Vallely, this exhibition features work by people from across Paisley, exploring the theme of mental health stigma in health and social care. There will also be a chance to take part in workshops with Josie and ceramicist Kevin Andrew Morris.

The launch event celebrates the best of creativity and wellbeing in the local area. There will be performances, activities and a guided tour of the Caring Conversations exhibition.

Walk a Mile – 9 May – 12 – 2pm – Fountain Gardens

Renfrewshire Anti Stigma Alliance (RASA) invites you to join them on a flat one-mile walk to challenge discrimination and stereotyping one conversation at a time. The event is suitable for all ages and abilities.

Sing Yourself Happy with Rockus Choir – 10 May – 7-9pm – Salvation Army Hall, Mill Street

Feel the benefits that singing in a group can add to your mental health. Come and join RockUs Community Choir for an evening of singing and laughing – whatever your vocal ability it is sure to be an uplifting evening.

Don’t Panic! It’s Challenge Anneka – 12 May – 7.30 – 8.30pm – Paisley Arts Centre

Inspired by real life stories this is a frank, funny and open exploration of a topic that can be seen as taboo – the challenge of overcoming anxiety.

Ladies A, B and C – 22 May – 1.30 – 2.30pm – Chancellors Hall – UWS

This event will allow visitors to see a short docufilm created in partnership with Media Monty in which a group of Renfrewshire women explore and rediscover the life and times of locals who lived in the 19th century: Jane Arthur, Mary Barbour and three of the Mrs Coats’.

This project is part of Renfrewshire Council’s Townscape Heritage Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme 2 (TH.CARS 2), funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Renfrewshire Council aims to make the area around the High Street a more attractive place to visit and invest while highlighting the significant role Paisley has played in the weaving and textile industry.

Poverty Safari: Author Event with Darren ‘Loki’ McGarvey – 23 May – 7 – 8.30pm – Paisley Central Library

Scottish rapper Darren ‘Loki’ McGarvey presents an event of rap, comedy and spoken word inspired by his best-selling book ‘Poverty Safari’ which explores themes of poverty and social inequality and the effects these things can have on our emotions.


Other events

I regularly visit the Paisley Museum and Art Galleries and Paisley Arts Centre and try to attend as many of the festivals and events in the town as possible... I particularly enjoy Sma’ Shot Day.

Laura Gray

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