Anti-Stigma Arts Fund

Launched in 2021, the Anti-Stigma Arts Fund gave individuals, groups and organisations the chance to apply for funding for arts projects in any medium that aim to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination.

Over the years, artists, makers and creators have used a huge range of different media to challenge stigmatising attitudes and behaviours associated with mental health.

The arts can offer a really powerful platform for people to share their experiences, and show what the reality is for people living with mental health problems.

Launched in 2021, our Anti-Stigma Arts Fund provided an opportunity for people and groups across Scotland to take forward an arts project which aims to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination.

The 2022 projects

Last year the fund received more than 40 applications from organisations and individuals across Scotland. From these applications, we are delighted to announce we are funding four fantastic projects.

Collectively these projects plan to produce a comic, two films and a spoken-word showcase.

Dr Isa Rao & Tom van den Hurk ‘Hear Me Out

Filmmakers Dr Isa Rao and Tom van den Hurk, will work in collaboration with three male suicide survivors who are passionate about de-stigmatising the topic of suicide.

They will create a film which tackles stigma around male suicide by providing a glimpse into the lives of the project participants. The film will show them with their families but also engaging in the activities that provided them with peace and calm during tough times.

Bazooka Arts

The project aims to create a high-quality community film that through the process of creating it provides a therapeutic context for participants to explore their own experiences of mental health-related stigma.

It is hoped that the finished film will have an impact on the wider community, exposing stigma in all its forms, raising awareness, generating discussion, reflection and leading to change in attitudes and behaviours for audience where that is needed.

SAY Women

This project will engage a group of young women to work with an artist-researcher to create a Public Information Comic which will explore, map and illustrate the particular difficulties faced by survivors of sexual abuse in relation to mental health stigma and discrimination.

The comic will be used to engage women accessing SAY Women services, stakeholders and the public to improve understanding and facilitate conversations around this topic.

Icebreaker Dundee

This project is a showcase of Dundee-based spoken word performers, sharing pieces on their experience of mental health problems and specifically on the intersection between mental health and perceived gender.

It aims to challenge mental health stigma, focusing on challenging the well-documented notion that certain mental health problems are gender-specific, which often makes it much more difficult to access appropriate support.

Keep an eye on this page for updates about the projects!

The 2021 projects

In 2021, We received 72 applications from a range of organisations and individuals Scotland-wide, with six projects funded. Below, you can find out more about the first Anti-Stigma Arts Fund cohort.

Tackling stigma through art

Read more about our research into the impact of the arts in anti-stigma work.