World Mental Health Day takes place on 10th October and the theme for Northern Ireland’s regional campaign is Creating Hope Through Action. To help the people of Belfast create hope through action, the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust is hosting the Festival of Hope at 2 Royal Avenue, Belfast, from 10am to 5pm.

The event features a range of workshops and activities, detailed below.

All events are open to the public, free of charge and all materials are provided. Workshops are only available to people aged 16 and over; drop-in activities are for everyone.


    • Nature’s Prescription Workshop 10am – 11am

Come and hear about the surprising science behind nature’s positive impact on mental health, as well as some practical ways to integrate nature into our lives.

    • Self-Compassion Through Movement 11.30am – 12.30pm

Learn how movement can help us nurture kindness in ourselves. In this session, we will explore, through gentle movement, breathing and mindfulness, ways of cultivating and understanding self-compassion.

    • Food & Mood Workshop 1pm – 2pm

Discover the connection between food and mood with Mags Johnston of Discover You NI. Mags will explore the growing body of evidence demonstrating the link between what we eat and how we feel.

    • Zentangle Art Workshop 2.30pm – 3.30pm

Experiment by creating your own Zentangle artwork with pen and colour, alongside Arts Care’s artist in residence, Beth McComish.

    • Clay Creations Workshop 4pm – 5pm

Using clay impressions of native leaves and wildflowers painted with watercolours, Sharon and Sian from The Conservation Volunteers will help you create your own keyring or coaster.

Drop-In Activities

A range of drop-in activities will be running from 10am to 5pm. No registration is necessary – just pop in and get involved!

    • Add your song to the Hope Playlist

Tell us which song makes you feel hopeful and why. Your song choices will be added to our Hope Playlist, which will be playing on the day. Read about other people’s song choices and be inspired!

    • Help create our giant artwork

Everyone is welcome to contribute to a piece art based on the theme of hope. This will be created on the day and all materials are provided.

    • Learn about available support

Many of us experience difficulties with our mental health. If you feel that you need help, you’ll be able to pick up information about services available across the Belfast.

    • Enrol with the Recovery College

Belfast Recovery College runs a range of courses on topics related to mental health and emotional wellbeing. All are available free of charge. Browse the prospectus, meet staff from the College and sign up for courses at their information stand.

    • Explore books that can improve your mental health

Head over to the Libraries NI information stand and browse a range of fiction and non-fiction books that can improve your mental health. You can also find out what’s on at your local library. A range of free events promoting wellbeing are run at libraries across Belfast.

To find out more and book your place, click here.