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Young Londoners take over City Hall for World Mental Health Day festival

London’s citywide movement to improve mental health and wellbeing, Thrive LDN, is working in partnership with the Mayor of London’s Peer Outreach Team to take over City Hall for an all-day young Londoner-led festival to mark World Mental Health Day (WMHD) 2019.

Taking place throughout the public spaces of City Hall on Thursday, 10 October 2019, the festival is including immersive plays, film screenings, live music and spoken word performances as well as creative workshops, presentations and panel discussions. The day will potentially be the largest young Londoner-led event ever held at City Hall.

The festival will explore various day-to-day challenges young people in London face and the impact of these on their mental health and wellbeing. At the same time, there will be a strong focus on how young people in London can overcome these barriers and build resilience through creative arts and culture, which have been shown to improve mental health and wellbeing. As part of the festival, The Fandangoe Kid, a print artist who makes large scale narrative driven pieces to open up conversations about typically taboo subject matters, will provide an installation spanning the length of City Hall’s public entrance slope. The ‘Language is Movement’ artwork tells the story of the relationship between dancing and mental health, and in particular how movement can be used as a tool to support young people’s wellbeing.

Elsewhere, Thrive LDN is partnering with Voluntary Arts and their Up For Arts collaboration with BBC local radio to help raise the profile of cultural participation and inspire more people to get involved. The partnership will see the production of six podcasts by young Londoners for young Londoners, asking ‘what it means to thrive in London’ and how developing networks and communities can support their mental health and wellbeing. The WMHD festival will provide the finale for the podcasts, with those young Londoners involved in the project acting as roving journalists on the day.

The initiative follows the recent publication of the Survey of Londoners, published by City Hall, which provided an insight into the lives of more than 6,600 Londoners. The survey highlighted that participation in culture events, such as going to the cinema, visiting museums and galleries, or going to theatre or live music concerts, has a positive association on belonging, life satisfaction and loneliness.

Further information about the festival and registration, can be found here.

Priscila Hernandez, youth engagement lead for Thrive LDN, said: “We are delighted to be working on this project with the Mayor’s Peer Outreach Team. The festival will create an opportunity to tackle the stigma around mental health for young people and opens up conversations on breaking down barriers, building resilience and the importance of having a sense of community.

“It is important to invest in young people as they are the future leaders, creators, and revolutionaries of this world! This event is a great opportunity to demonstrate the amazing talent from young people in London, in addition to addressing societal issues that are affecting young Londoners.”

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