Pigs Might Fly festival to tackle stigma of mental health


The South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is supporting the Pigs Might Fly festival on Saturday 10th October in Kirklees to celebrate World Mental Health Day.

Pigs Might Fly is an event celebrating a range of creative and artistic achievements by people who find that involvement in the arts improves their health and wellbeing. It includes artists from across Kirklees, Wakefield and Calderdale who want to show how dancing, painting, singing, drumming and just playing together can help change lives and inspire people to boost their own mental wellbeing.

In the days leading up to the festival there are lots of opportunities for people to join in with a range of creative groups and activities across Huddersfield – harmony singing, African drumming, painting, photography, Ceilidh dancing, discussion groups, creative writing – and absolutely no previous experience is required.

But the climax is a free festival event being held at The Blending Shed, Bates Mill, Huddersfield on Saturday 10th October starting at 12pm noon and finishing at midnight. The 12 hour spectacle will feature a wide range of performances and talent from across the region including music, dance and theatre.

Festival organiser Phil Russell said, "We are hoping that this event will grow and become an annual occasion that brings people from all walks of life together to celebrate how powerful a medicine art and creativity can be." Local people are being invited to support the festival and take part to raise awareness that 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem in the course of a year, but unlike other medical issues mental illness doesn’t always generate understanding and sympathy.

The Trust has joined forces with Pigs Might Fly to raise awareness of the discrimination that people with mental illness can experience and encourage people to ‘get creative’ to boost mental wellbeing. Pigs Might Fly is part of the Trust’s 18 day Festival of Wellbeing being held across Calderdale, Kirklees or Wakefield, designed to mark world mental health day 2009. Nearly 200 events and activities are being held on the themes of ‘Get moving, get creative and get involved’. The Trust’s chief executive, Steven Michael, said: “This is an ideal opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues, reduce stigma and promote wellbeing. We know that creativity, physical activity and social inclusion all make a big difference to wellbeing so our festival is concentrating on these areas. We want people in our local communities to be able to try something new to enhance their wellbeing.” Anyone who wants to attend Pigs Might Fly can just turn up on the day or for more information contact phil@hootmusic.co.uk or call on 01484 516224.

For more information about the Festival of Wellbeing and to see the full list of events taking place, visit www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk

Pigs Might Fly festival to tackle stigma of mental health

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