About



The Festival

We all have mental health, yet often we ignore it unless we start to struggle. Emotional difficulties can affect anyone at any time in their life, and we believe that everyone should have the tools to help themselves and others improve their emotional wellbeing, whatever the state of their mental health.

Freedom of Mind Festival 2016 was a huge success, encouraging conversation and offering practical tools to make Bristol a happier, healthier city – and this year we’ve got even more up our sleeve. Between the 6th and 14th October, we’ll be taking a closer look at what can affect our mental wellbeing and how we can make a real, positive change to better this.

Talking about mental health doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom, and we strive to make sure that discussions at our events are fun and engaging by making them interactive. We know that mental wellbeing isn’t one-dimensional so our events aren’t either; panels, talks, films and more, there’s something for everyone to get involved.

After all that we’ve achieved at Freedom of Mind 2016, we’re really excited to get back out there and cover even more ground during this year’s festival! If you’re interested in helping out with our events then drop an email to info@freedomofmind.org.uk and someone will get back to you with more information.

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Our aims

Freedom of Mind’s aims. 3 steps to better mental health.

Conversation
We want to initiate honest and productive conversations about mental health. Due to the stigma surrounding mental health and mental illness many people still feel too embarrassed or uncomfortable to talk about their experiences. By encouraging people to have frank, non judgemental discussions, we aim to decrease the feelings of isolation and loneliness that those with mental health issues can suffer, and increase empathy and solidarity, so we can move towards a society in which no one feels unable to talk about mental health.


Education
Issues around mental health are extremely complex and are often misunderstood, which can perpetuate the stigma. We aim to provide educational platforms for people to learn more about mental health and the many forms mental illness can take, but also learn about the importance of improving and maintaining mental wellbeing. Through education people can also learn how to better help themselves and loved ones who are experiencing mental health difficulties.


Change
Our final aim and ultimate goal is to create positive change in how people view, talk about and understand mental health. We aim to change the way people talk about their own and others’ mental health and provide people with the confidence and the tools to talk openly. We aim to change people’s perceptions about mental health and improve understanding of the many issues related to it, and we aim to change the way people respond to mental health issues, so that everyone can get the help they need and support others.



Freedom of Mind timeline



Meet the team

Katie Finch
Managing Director
Katie first heard about Freedom of Mind in April 2015 when she met Ella Marshall. Her experiences of poor mental health at school and university had resulted in a passion Read More
Ella Marshall
Founder and Chair of the Board of Directors
Through her own experiences and those of loved ones, she realised that societal attitudes towards mental health needed to change. Stigma and ignorance play a huge part in ensuring that Read More
Kate Mabbett
Director - Events Manager
Kate first joined Freedom Of Mind in January 2016. Her first hand experience with mental health motivated her involvement with the festival, which lead to Kate organising our five fringe Read More
Cai Burton
Marketing and Communications Manager and Graphic Designer
Cai is an artist and illustrator, but spends his time in Freedom of Mind working within the Marketing team helping the festival to be seen by as many people as Read More
HJ Smith
PR Coordinator
HJ is an Arts and Events Coordinator and Freelance Writer. Her spare time is for FOM. Through personal experience, and watching people close to her deal with their mental health, Read More
Ant Lightfoot
Content Creator & Social Media Assistant
Ant is an artist, performer & filmmaker based in Bristol. After seeing the incredible work that went into Freedom of Mind 2016 and the invaluable & innovative ways the festival Read More
Alex Pearce
Events Assistant
Having been the finance and governance intern for Freedom of Mind 2016, Alex has decided to focus on the events side of affairs for this year. Being involved in Freedom Read More
Jade Evans
Content creator
Jade attended last year’s Freedom of Mind conference and was intrigued to see how the team worked to create such an innovative way to publicly discuss mental health, and jumped Read More
Olamide Subair
Website Designer/Developer
Ola got involved with Freedom of Mind to show her support to a vital cause and help the organisation with a website makeover. Outside of Freedom of Mind, Ola works Read More
Anna Bron
Content Creator
Having suffered from significant anxiety herself, Anna understands how vital it is for people to feel comfortable talking about mental health. Although as a society we’re moving towards de-stigmatising mental Read More
Mark Allen
Workshop Co-ordinator
Having been involved with Freedom of Mind last year through his work, Mark was keen collaborate more closely as a volunteer this year and be inspired by the young, dynamic Read More
Amy Weale
Events Assistant
After attending last year’s film screening of “Stranger on the Bridge “ with the Jonny Benjamin Q&A, Amy decided she wanted to be involved with Freedom of Mind 2017! She Read More

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Website designed by Chris Wood and Olamide Subair