Hi, I'm Trish, the coordinator of the Bearsden Festival. I'll post updates on the development of the programme, and introduce some of our partners and personal stories in the lead up to May.
Why the focus on mental health this year? Surely not a major issue in Bearsden, with all our opportunities in life? We have certainly encountered a few reservations as we talked through the concept - would it not put people off having such a difficult subject for a festival? How can we amateurs do anything to support people who are mentally ill, surely that's a job for professionals?
I know I feel most centred and well in myself when I have something meaningful to occupy my time, feel supported and loved, and have understanding friends and family by my side. In other words, I need to connect with people and feel I'm a part of a community, and can trust the people around me in the ups and downs.
We all have mental health. Most of us will at some point of our lives feel depressed or anxious. I've witnessed crisis situations where problems have exacerbated to emergency levels precisely because the person didn't know who to turn to for help, didn't want to admit things were increasingly bleak. We want to say in the festival it's OK to say how we feel. As a community, we can simply say you're not alone, there is help, what do you need?
Creative energy brings well-being too, and there will be lots of chances for everyone to get involved in various arts and outdoors events, from Scottish music jam to silent disco and singalong show tunes. All will be revealed on our programme pages soon.
We have been so encouraged by the support we have received locally for this new venture. We want it to be designed and led and have something to say to all ages and stages in life, so we are out in the community now asking for ideas. What would you like the festival to achieve?