The annual Aberdeenshire Wellbeing Festival is returning next week with a number of exciting online and in-person events taking place for all ages.
It aims to recognise the importance of community activity in promoting wellbeing and reconnect and support personal mental wellbeing.
A number of organisations, community groups, public services and individuals will be working in partnership to put together the programme of activities.
Partners include Live Life Aberdeenshire, Aberdeenshire Council, Community Mental Health (Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership), Public Health (NHS Grampian), and the third sector including SAMH and Pillar Kincardine.
Individual contributors include Grandma Griggly.
Walks, drawing workshops, talks, gardening and yoga classes, outdoor entertainment and more will be taking place during the seven-day-long event.
Calvin Little, public health co-ordinator – Central Aberdeenshire, says the partnership effort is “immense” with services recognising their role in promoting mental wellbeing.
“This is the sixth year of the Aberdeenshire Wellbeing Festival, the first took place in May 2016 in support of National Mental Health Week,” Mr Little added.
“It was initially established to engage a wider audience, beyond service providers, in promoting mental health.
“The festival takes a whole population approach to promoting good mental wellbeing, preventing mental illness, reducing stigma and supporting recovery. It acknowledges that mental health and wellbeing should be and is everybody’s business.
“Poor mental health is a significant health and social issue and is arguably the single most prevalent and preventable cause of poor health and disability.
“While it is recognised that action to improve mental health needs to take place at all levels in society, the Wellbeing Festival celebrates local community activity which promotes mental wellbeing at an individual and community level.
“Everyone has mental health and therefore mental health is everyone’s business. Being mental health aware as individuals not only helps us to look after our own wellbeing but also helps reduce stigma and be more supportive of those in recovery or needing help.”
The theme of this year’s festival is nature and the environment and to raise awareness of the internationally recognised five steps to mental wellbeing.
Mr Little said: “The festival has grown year on year with more organisations, individual and community groups participating.
“Last year, due to the Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions on meeting, the events organised were cancelled and at short notice was moved to being a small number of virtual events to support people to connect online.
“The festival for 2021 is a blended programme with virtual sessions and outdoor events which comply with Covid guidelines.
“There will be a broad range of community-based activities which help people to connect, learn, give off their time, be more active and more mindful of others and the environment.
“There are also new events, some to mention are The Science of Self Care, Stories to Make You Smile, Generations Together, What is A Positive Mindset, Chilli Con Calm, Granma Griggly’s reminiscence with hats, Indian cookery.
“It has been a lot of work pulling this together. We can’t wait to hear feedback from the event hosts and participants.”
Visit www.nhsgrampian.org/your-health/aberdeenshire-wellbeing-festival for more information.