The Mental Wealth Festival - organised by City Lit and Books Beyond Words – is a three-day festival of talks, debates, seminars and mindfulness, with a broad programme, celebrating many aspects of life that contribute to people’s mental wellbeing.
This year the festival is taking place from 12-14th September in venues at City Lit in Covent Garden, the Houses of Parliament and The National Gallery. We will be exploring the “human face of wellbeing”, and will help festival goers to move beyond the usual mental health statistics and policies and to encounter real stories, discovering how we can achieve and celebrate mental wealth.
We will welcome award-winning mental health campaigners and festival ambassadors Jonny Benjamin and Neil Laybourn, familiar to many through the ‘Stranger on the bridge’ documentary. Mandy Stevens will be sharing her story of recovery about, how as a mental health professional and director of a major mental health trust, she ended up receiving care after experiencing severe mental health issues.
In partnership with the National Gallery there will also be sessions at the gallery, including a special event with Ed Balls, mindfulness with paintings and accessible opportunities for people with learning disabilities.
Baroness Sheila Hollins will be hosting a panel discussion at the House of Lords on the evening of Tuesday 12th September, ahead of the main programme of the Festival. This will highlight the issues of mental wealth for adults and young people to a cross-section of parliamentarians and stakeholder organisations, through a panel debate.
Other events will range from the small-scale to larger evening events with guest speakers who are passionate about inspiring commitment to positive mental wellbeing and in driving changes in attitudes. Previous festivals have included contributions from Ruby Wax, Alastair Campbell, Nathan Filer and Hugh Grant, as well as award winning authors, social innovators, carers, faith groups, and people with disabilities. Other contributors for 2017 are to be confirmed - watch this space.