Freedom of Mind Festival 2018 is HERE! Day 5 featured two different events to celebrate World Mental Health Day 2018. We started with an Early Morning Silent Disco on Castle Park! And rounded up the evening with a Panel Discussion on Body Image, Dieting Culture and Mental Health.

Missed the events?

Check out our thoughts on how they went…

Marks Experience at the Early Morning Silent Disco…

I’m still buzzing from the silent disco in Castle Park this morning for World Mental Health Day!

It must be the combination of endorphins from all the dancing, sugar from the fruit smoothies, and the feeling of togetherness from being with such lovely, shiny people on a beautiful sunny morning!

I’d been banging on about running a morning rave since starting as a volunteer 2 years ago, and my wish was finally granted.

When I was starting to plan it I randomly came across Free Silent Disco in Museum Square and got chatting to Naren. He puts them on purely to bring joy to people and I knew immediately that we had to collaborate.

It was a pleasure to see so many people there, some tentative at first, but soon getting into their dancing. Thanks also to Cat from Nudge Yourself who led some short warm up sessions, and everyone that got involved with the smoothie bike.

Same again next year?!


KB’s Experience at the Body Image Panel Discussion

On the warm evening of World Mental Health Day, we huddled in a cosy Zion Cafe awaiting the start of the Body Image, Food and Mental Health Panel Discussion.

Alice, the chairperson who spreads her positive vibes via Instagram on ‘aliceandpeanutbutter’, introduced the diverse panel. The 5 person panel ranged from Imogen whose ‘the_feeding_of_the_fox’ page promotes ‘radical body politics and non judgemental compassion’ to an inclusive swimwear designer, Antonia.

What caught my attention was that the panelists all had shared a background of fighting mental ill health and all had social media platforms. When they were asked about this conflicting relationship, Cait, who promotes anti diet ideals via a newsletter and soon-to-be blog, said something so prominent it will probably stay with me in all aspects of my life. They said,

“If it makes you feel like s**t, get rid of it,”

and extended their answer explaining that you need to try curate yourself and go to spaces where your mental health is welcomed.

Extending the theme of social media was the question, “What is body positivity?”

Sam Roswell enlightened most of the crowd, myself included, when they spoke of where ‘the now’ Instagram phrase originated. Body positivity, now known mostly for its hashtag on social media was a movement started by marginalised women of colour who wanted to revel in their bodies which were often discriminated against. Sam revealed that there was a difference between the movement and just generally loving oneself and being positive of one’s image.

I cannot thank Dan, a stand up comedian and the only male on the panel having fought anorexia, for always cracking jokes and always pushing for us to praise mental health just as much as we talk about mental ill health.

I’ve learned how to be a concerned friend, how to check the way I think and how to stay uplifted and love myself all in one night.

There was so much exchange even amongst the crowd in the Q&A and so much debate that allowed perspectives to be shifted and people to be heard.

I can definitely say I walked out a different person!

And so wraps up day 5! For day 6, we’ve got the brilliant Glug x Freedom of Mind at The Square Club, followed by a discussion of mental health and homelessness

See you next time!

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