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Call for Highland Artists to Tackle Mental Health Stigma

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See Me’s Anti-Stigma Arts Fund now open for applications.

People in the Highlands are being encouraged to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination through the arts.

The Anti-Stigma Arts Fund – operated by See Me, Scotland’s programme to end mental health stigma and discrimination – is now open for the second year, accepting applications from individuals, groups or organisations.

Research has shown that the arts can offer a powerful platform to share experiences, and show what the reality is for people living with mental health problems.

Launched in 2021, the first Anti-Stigma Arts Fund received applications from a range of organisations and individuals across Scotland, with six projects successfully funded.

For the 2022 fund, proposals are encouraged from individuals, groups of organisations for arts projects in any medium that aim to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination. Grants of between £500 and £5,000 are available.

Last year’s projects involved young people, members of a community affected by suicide, people with experience of severe, complex and enduring mental health problems, transgender and non-binary people and Chinese students, exploring how the different groups experience mental health stigma and open up conversations around mental health.

Four films, one leaflet, one wellbeing pack and one comic book, a community questionnaire, a youth questionnaire, and a programme of therapeutic arts were produced through the fund.

The sixth project, working with Gypsy/Travellers, is now underway following pandemic-related delays.

Maeve Grindall, project officer for communities and priority groups at See Me, said:

“Our first year of funding showed us the power of the arts and how creativity can tackle mental health stigma and discrimination.

“The groups involved were innovative and produced inspiring pieces that opened up the conversation on stigma, especially across a different range of communities and audiences. 

“We’re excited to see what projects and ideas might come from our second year of funding, and placing a real emphasis on projects which aim to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination in the communities where it is most prevalent.”

The deadline to apply for the 2022 fund is midnight on Sunday 6 November.

See Me particularly welcomes applications from traditionally marginalised groups that might experience worse mental health outcomes, and it’s also open to any group that might experience poor mental health outcomes

Partnership working between organisations and creative practitioners is encouraged for these projects and you must be able to demonstrate in your application that you possess or can access the necessary skills to take the project forward.

Projects must involve people with lived experience of mental health problems.

More information on the application process and the 2021 projects can be found on the See Me website.

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