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Mental Wealth Festival

Celebrating all things that keep us well

Thursday 10 – Friday 11 October

Coinciding with World Mental Health Day join our two-day programme of talks and workshops taking place across the Gallery in partnership with City Lit.

The Mental Wealth Festival the National Gallery aims to explore how the arts and a creative life can be a path to self-expression, mental wellbeing, and provide a forum for informative, challenging, and inspiring discussions and workshops exploring mental health issues.

Explore your creativity and support your mental wellbeing through workshops and events taking place across the Gallery.

Mental Health Awareness audio tour

Created as part of the programme, follow this audio tour through the Gallery and discover paintings and painters in ways that may be unexpected, and reflect on experiences that promote greater understanding of our mental health.

Free to download onto to your smartphone.

Thursday 10 October, 11am–5pm

Events will be across the Gallery, the meeting point is the Sainsbury Wing Foyer.

For more information about the programme and to book please visit City Lit. 

in collaboration with the City Lit as part of the Mental Wealth Festival 

Eye-spy: A visual journey through the Gallery

11am–12pm
Wander through rooms with no fixed trajectory, stop to sketch a detail from a painting that catches your eye.

Drawing and the art of mindfulness

11am–12.30pm
An opportunity to explore the ancient practice of mindfulness in the context of looking at, drawing and appreciating art.

Into the fold

12.30–1.30pm
Folding as contemplative process. Reflect on the physical similarities between folding and the structure of the brain with its many hidden folds.

Image to improv

12.30–1.30 pm
A light-hearted and joyful interactive workshop using pictures in the National Gallery as a starting point for collaborative comic and dramatic creations.

Writing a haiku for mental wellbeing

2–3pm
Writing a Haiku requires concentration which can be a peaceful distraction. In this workshop with Pearl Elizabeth Dell. May you will learn that wellbeing can come from a closeness to the natural world.

Looking at Duccio (free session - booking required)

2–3pm
Talk and Draw:
Take time with Gallery educator Marc Woodhead to contemplate, reflect and observe.

Beyond Words Book Club

2–3pm
Experience a Beyond Words Book Club and explore the power of reading picture stories together.

Drawing and the art of mindfulness

2–3pm
An opportunity to explore the ancient practice of mindfulness in the context of looking at, drawing and appreciating art.

Friendship bracelet making

2–3pm
Learn to make vibrant friendship bracelets with colourful cords, whether you used to make them or are complete beginners. Friendship bands have been exchanged for millenia to honour the bond between significant relationships.

The Pass-it-on Project

3-4pm
The Pass-it-on Project will train people with learning disabilities about mental health. The project has been developed by the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities and London South Bank University, and is supported by Vibrance, McIntyre and Lewisham Speaking Up. The people that finish the course will become Pass-it-on Peer Mentors. This is an hour’s introductory session to this mentoring programme which includes 7 training sessions (provided by FPLD) and then 5 peer mentoring sessions in the person’s local area, supported by a trainer.

Tai Chi

4–5pm
Join an introductory level Tai Chi workshop set amongst the gallery collection with Carla Drayton

Friday 11 October, 11am–2.30pm

Join two panel discussions at the National Gallery, with topics on BAME communities and mental health and men's mental health. These events will both be BSL-interpreted.

Booking required.

For more information about the programme and to book please visit City Lit. 

in collaboration with the City Lit as part of the Mental Wealth Festival 

Conference Room 1

A personal view of BAME Mental Health

11am–12.30pm
There are huge disparities in mental health services for people from black and minority ethnic (BAME) groups. People from this group are more likely to be diagnosed with mental health problems, less likely to get a good outcome from treatment and more likely to disengage from mental health services. The reasons for this include racism and poverty.

This panel, made of up of a mix of experts, professionals and those with a personal story will particularly focus on those affected by poor mental health and explore solutions to the challenges, followed by an audience Q&A.

Chaired by Delrose Bowes, Coordinator Wellbeing, Psychology and Counselling programmes at City Lit and joined by Camillea Johnson, L.B.Q. Womxn of Colour UK; Sandra Kerr CBE, Race Equality Director, Business in the Community; Nisba Ahmed, Equality Improvement Leader, Mind; Anthony Davis, integrative counsellor and psychotherapist.

'No Man is an Island'

1–2.30pm

A panel discussion on men's mental health
Toxic masculinity instils a false idea that men don't share or even have feelings. Fears around homo social intimacy, common phrases like 'man up', absent fathers and a lack of inter-generational male relationships all contribute to ways in which men can be isolated and lonely - islands.

Hosted by City Lit, the panel of experts will discuss ways in which men can overcome disconnection and foster authentic connection. The key themes covered will include: using social media as a tool for authentic sharing of feelings; men's groups; authentic friendships; 'checking in'; and the power of sharing vulnerability. It will be followed by an audience Q&A.

Panellists include: Mark Malcomson Principal and CEO, City Lit (Chair); Mark Rice-Oxley,Guardian Journalist and Author of Underneath the Lemon Tree, The Guardian; Matt Johnson, Host of The Naked Professors podcast and MIND ambassador; Ian Tucknott, Head of School of Humanities, City Lit; Tommy Danquah, Co-host of Man Up UK podcast. This event will be BSL-interpreted.

For more information about the programme and to book please visit City Lit. 

in collaboration with the City Lit as part of the Mental Wealth Festival