SUPPORT in Mind Scotland staff, supporters, volunteers and service users combined with a variety of other wonderful organisations and people to produce a successful Dumfries and Galloway Mental Health Festival.

The week-long programme of events, supported by all of SiMS services in Dumfries & Galloway, started on World Mental Health Day and included information tables, activities and interactive art at Munches Street in Dumfries.

A new art exhibition also opened at the Ice Bowl, while there was also a quiz night and live music in the town.

The art exhibition, entitled 'All Square' is now open to the public following a launch night on Monday, 10 October. It features work from the Life Skills Project art group in Dumfries, together with the art group from our Stewartry Resource Centre in Castle Douglas. 

The centrepiece of the exhibition, a giant depiction of the historic Midsteeple in Dumfries, took the art group eight weeks, and was completed by 14 service users, three students and a volunteer. There are 2,400 squares and 18 different colours. The meticulous planning was done by Tela Howat, Life Skills Project worker. She deserves as much credit as the artists. 

Pictured below alongside the impressive Midsteeple artwork are SiMS Area Manager Gail Rhind, Kaleidoscope manager Emma Scott, and Claire Thirwall, who is D & G Health and Wellbeing Officer. 

Art was also to the fore during the week of activities at Munches Street. People were given the opportunity all week to get involved in the creation of a piece of art. As the individual squares were filled in over the course of the week, and the picture started to take shape, the suspense built as people tried to figure out the 'secret' identity of the artwork. Finally, when complete, it was revealed as Caerlaverock Castle.

The information tables proved popular throughout the week with many people dropping in for a chat. As well as the main Support in Mind Scotland display, we were able to exhibit the Mandala design from Stewartry Resource Centre which was the inspiration for our 1 in 100 logo.

Support in Mind Scotland were joined throughout the week by other local organisations such as UCI (User & Carer Involvement), Dumfries & Galloway Library Service, the Association for Real Change, LGBT Youth, Soul Soup, Capability Scotland.

There was also a comment tree, teas, coffee and cake, plus jams and chutneys from our Annan project, and not forgetting the The World Mental Health Day globe created by Tela and helpers.

In Stranraer meanwhile, there was a tandoori night, and in Dumfries a quiz night at the White Hart was well attended - congratulations to the winning team, named 'We haven't got one yet'!!

To round off a fantastic week, Redfish and The Cracked Man played at the Coach and Horses on Saturday to raise mental health awareness and £300 for SiMS in Dumfries.