SATURDAY, 10 October not only marks World Mental Health Day, Support in Mind Scotland's Dignity Walk and the launch of our 1 IN 100 Fundraising campaign, it also heralds the official opening of this year's Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival (SMHAFF).

The Festival will take place across Scotland from 10-31 October with more than 300 events to be staged throughout the country – across film, performing arts, literature, music and visual arts.

The theme of the ninth annual SMHAFF is Passion and it will explore how we learn to live with our passions and make them work positively for us, as well as the passion and dispassion associated with mental ill-health.

Highlights of the performing arts programme include national tours of In Her Shadows, a unique visual performance presented by A Blank Canvas & Jabuti Theatre with acclaimed director Cora Bissett; and Rapture Theatre’s new production of Arthur Miller’s The Last Yankee, commissioned to celebrate the legendary writer’s centenary. 

This year’s film programme boasts more premieres than ever before, while 2015 Scottish Album of the Year Award winner Kathryn Joseph will perform at the Festival, headlining Edinburgh Carers Council’s Music Matters event, while acclaimed Glasgow-based singer-songwriter RM Hubbert plays as part of Headspace in Glasgow. 

Author Matt Haig discusses his inspirational bestselling memoir Reasons to Be Alive, focusing on his own experiences with depression, while the inimitable Rally & Broad host an eclectic evening of spoken word, literature and music.

Multi-venue visual art exhibition Out of Sight, Out of Mind also returns in Edinburgh, showcasing diverse artworks from people with lived experience of mental ill-health. This will run at Leith Library from 1-31 October; at Summerhall from 10-31; Space Artworks Gallery (10-31) and the University of Edinburgh Chaplaincy Centre (14-30 October)

Festival Manager Gail Aldam said: "What has really struck me each year is the passion that people have for what we do, using art to give a voice to marginalised groups, challenging injustice and instigating change."

For more information and the full Festival programme, visit: www.mhfestival.com