Getting beyond a clinical picture and transforming Mental Health Through the Arts: Framing Adverse Childhood Experiences for impact


Mental Health Foundation (UK), Scotland and University of New South Wales, Sydney (Australia), The Scottish ACESs Hub

About the host/co-host

Hosted by The Mental Health Foundation: an NGO working aross UK and internationally on prevention and equality. MHF Lead the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival-

Co hosted with ‘The Big Anxiety Festival, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


Glasgow, Scotland

Theme of this match

Arts interventions can be transformative. They have gone from the margins to become a mainstream option for mental health leaders. They can empower those who have experienced mental health problems and distress; build bridges across sectors; and change the way the public and policymakers think, feel and act towards mental health. This exchange takes place at the close of the12th Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival and brings together leading international figures to offer a mix of live performances, talks and debates. In 2018, the Scottish Governments ‘Year of Young People’ we will harness the arts to approach a critical challenge we face in improving mental health and wellbeing; the impact Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

ACEs have a powerful effect on health, especially on mental health and addictions. As the national body working to reduce health inequalities and improve health, NHS Health Scotland hosts an “ACEs Hub” which seeks to coordinate efforts to reduce the harm caused by ACEs in Scotland. With links to education, health, criminal justice, social care, third sector partners and policy-makers in the Scottish Government, the Hub is well-placed to influence change. Responding to adversity and trauma requires fresh thinking and renewed cooperation amongst public services. How might we make ACEs and a trauma-informed perspective the new normal? Is the arts a way to ensure public awareness and civic engagement keeps pace?

This exchange is offered in partnership with match  “Ask once get help fast” where participants will have the opportunity to participate in shared social and learning activities including a reception hosted by the Scottish Parliament. Together we will gather around a shared picture of innovation in Scotland; working at the boundaries of mental health alongside other sectors to get beyond a clinical model.

Maximum capacity

We can be flexible with numbers

More information about our work in this field

This exchange is being hosted by leaders in the field of arts and mental health, and will take place against the backdrop of the 12th annual Scottish mental health arts festival and exciting events. We will bring together artists, peopel with lived experience, community activists, policy makers and academics. Together we will explore current inititaives and new possibilities, in a fun and creative way. For examples of this see: and

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