Freedom of Mind Festival

It’s so nice when somebody you know does more than talk the talk but they actually do something with that talk. Many of us talk a lot about wanting to change things in the world of mental health but don’t do much more than that. Katie who I met through Twitter took her passion and has created a festival which will be held in Bristol during September/October to promote awareness of mental illness and to get people talking about it.

What Is Freedom of Mind?

Freedom of Mind Festival is a series of events which will create conversations about mental health and emotional well-being, bringing people together to make Bristol a happier, healthier city. It will take place in venues across Bristol from the 30th September to the 10th October 2016.

They are a predominantly youth led, voluntary organisation and have already forged partnerships with several organisations. These include Bristol City Council, the Bristol NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, Off the Record, Festival of Ideas, Incredible Edible Bristol, Young Healthwatch and Bristol Independent Mental Health Network.

They have established a committee from a wide range of backgrounds and experience who all share a passion for bettering mental health and emotional well-being for individuals and the city. They have already started working on the initial and final events, a fundraising gig at the O2 Academy and a day conference on mental health in Bristol.

The rest of the festival consists of events which will follow their three keyword aims; conversation, education, change.

They want to run events in partnership with organisations across the city to cover a variety of well-being related themes, such as creative expression, community building, mindfulness, physical fitness and more.

Why Run Freedom of Mind?

I asked the organisers what their motivation was behind running this festival..

We know that mental illness can affect anyone, therefore feel it is only right for us all to have the toolsto be able to talk about our emotional wellbeing and care for ourselves and others. This city wide platform will stimulate discussion and teach individuals and communities accessible and practical ways to improve their emotional wellbeing. Through recognising the social barriers and personal hurdles that we may have to overcome, we will be better equipped to establish a positive mind­set and tackle stigma head on.

How Can You Help?

Like most not for profit events, Freedom of Mind is relying on people and organisations volunteering time and resources to make it a success. They’ve provided me with information on what they need from those willing to help…

We need help in spreading the word, contacting groups and individuals who are involved in activities which work to improve emotional wellbeing. We want to know what is already being planned during this time, what we can help with, how we can improve and suggestions of other events we can put on.

If you have any thoughts or want to get involved then please contact Katie, via email:



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