Mental Health and the Arts: Challenging Preconceptions

Storytelling can have excellent health and wellbeing benefits and we often do work in this field through workshops, outreach performances and through our annual involvement with the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival.  Projects such as Life Stories and The Story Kist: Inclusive Storytelling use storytelling as a tool to engage with mental health issues, whilst being part of an enjoyable experience.

We’ve been taking part in the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival for several years and this year we have a great selection of events running from Wednesday 2nd – Saturday 12th October to challenge preconceived ideas about mental health.

This year we’re really pleased to be working with storyteller, Jane Mather, who has contributed three events around the theme of the Wellbeing Woodland. Jane will be storytelling at two events – Nature Stories for ages 4+ and at our monthly Café Voices – and has curated the exhibition, Away with the Fairies, which is a collection of watercolour paintings by Jane’s mother, Fiona Mather.

Jo Caulfield and the Speakeasy team have embraced the Festival theme for their monthly spoken word event and we’re delighted to welcome back Horse and Bamboo Theatre with their performance of Angus: Weaver of Grass, which had an extremely popular Edinburgh Fringe run with us in August.

We’re delighted to be involved in such a diverse and interesting Festival that does great work in raising awareness and changing perceptions of mental health issues. We hope to see you at some of our events listed below.

For more information about the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival please visit their website, follow them on twitter or like them on facebook.


Events at the Scottish Storytelling Centre

Creadit Fiona MatherAway with the Fairies
Wednesday 2nd – Saturday 12th October
10am – 6pm | Free

A collection of watercolour paintings by retired nurse and artist, Fiona Mather.



Image for Story KistThe Story Kist: Inclusive Storytelling
Saturday 5th October
11am |£5 per child
Family Storytelling

Stories and games, props and puppets, with lots of joining-in fun for everyone, but particularly for children with additional needs.



Image for Angus: Weaver of GrassAngus: Weaver of Grass
Saturday 5th October
3pm & 7.30pm | £8 (£6)

A true story about Angus MacPhee’s, who spent 50 years in a psychiatric hospital due to his experiences of WWII.



Image for the Speakeasy.Jo Caulfield Presents…The Speakeasy
Tuesday 8th October
8pm | £6
Spoken Word

Writers, comedians, musicians and more share true stories – live!



Creadit Fiona MatherCafe Voices: Wellbeing Woodland
Wednesday 9th October
7pm | £5

A participative evening of nature and fairy stories, songs and poems, hosted by storyteller Jane Mather.



Image of the Garden.Nature Stories
Saturday 12 october
£5 per child
Family Storytelling

Enjoy playing with nature and learn about the Wellbeing Woodland. Stories and fun crafts with storyteller Jane Mather.