For the past week, the world’s biggest mental health and arts festival has taken over Sydney. The Big Anxiety Festival is hoping to change the way people think about and deal with the issue of mental health.
The Big Anxiety Festival is of particular importance simply due to the sheer volumes of people who experience mental health issues, here in Australia 1 in 5 people will deal with some form of mental health illness with the most common types being anxiety or depression. An are of considerable concern is the proportion of people who fail to seek help when experiencing a mental health illness, in Australia alone this figure sits at 65% of suffers.
As part of The Big Anxiety Festival leading national and international artists, scientists, technology experts and thinkers have converged to use innovative experiences that include state-of-the-art immersive environments (virtual reality and gaming), international art exhibitions, performance, music, talk events and public forums to transform the way society perceives mental health.
Executive & Artistic Director of the Festival, Professor Jill Bennett (UNSW) says, “there is resounding evidence that the arts can contribute to our mental wellbeing in really substantial ways, far beyond simply promoting awareness… Through The Big Anxiety Festival, we want to transform the way people think, feel and connect; to create opportunities for meaningful encounters that increase curiosity and empathy, decrease stigma, support neurodiversity and promote psychological and emotional well-being in our society”
Until Nov 9. Various Venues & Prices. Tickets & Info: www.thebiganxiety.org