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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

BEDLAM Arts and Mental Health Festival returns in 2021

Published: 02/11/2021

Birmingham’s BEDLAM Arts and Mental Health Festival, which aims to raise awareness of mental health and well-being through the importance of the arts returns for its 5th edition running over ten days from Friday 12 November – Sunday 21 November 2021.

The festival is organised by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Midlands Arts Centre and Sampad South Asian Arts in consultation with practitioners and those with lived experience of mental health problems.

Performed in venues and spaces across the city, BEDLAM presents a diverse programme of world premieres, visual art and film, as well as powerful live performance through theatre, spoken word, dance, and music.

According to a survey from MIND taken in April 2021 ‘two thirds (65%) of adults surveyed and more than two thirds (68%) of young people with mental health problems say their mental health has got worse since the first national lockdown. Nearly half (46%) of those adults and over half (51%) of those young people said that their mental health has got much worse since the beginning of the first national lockdown in March 2020.’

Rosin Fallon- Williams, Chief Executive of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation: “These findings show the profound effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our mental health, with many people experiencing mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression for the first time. 

“It is something we have been very aware of, and we continue to support both our existing service users, those new to our services and also our colleagues throughout what is still a challenging time for many.

“I welcome the opportunity to support BEDLAM for another year- it is a chance to enjoy and experience an amazing festival, as well as to increase knowledge and understanding of mental health.”

Sabra Khan BEDLAM Festival Director said “It has been proven that performing arts have a great impact on people’s mental health combatting depression, overcoming anxiety and helping with emotional release. So, after what has been an incredibly tough 18 months for all of us, we are delighted that we can present the 5th edition of the BEDLAM Arts and Mental Health Festival and look forward to welcoming audiences to an exciting ten days of events and performances in the city.” 

For further information, including the full festival programme, and to book tickets visit www.bedlamfestival.co.uk. Tickets are also available via www.macbirmingham.co.uk Box Office: 0121 446 3232 and www.birmingham-rep.co.uk Box Office: 0121 236 4455 and can be purchased via the event venues. Prices start from as little as £5. There are also a number of free events.