AN ANNUAL mental health festival has launched an ambitious programme of events.

More than 150 health experts and guests attended the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film festival launch at Glasgow's city chambers yesterday.

The event, which will run from October 1 - 19, will see around 300 performances, films and concerts taking place in venues across the country.

Focusing on the theme of power, it aims to challenge the stigma of mental illness and promote positive mental health.

It also focuses on how the arts can help to support and empower people with mental health problems.

Lee Knifton, festival director, said: "Our festival was founded upon the belief that arts and film have the power to raise awareness of social injustice and to stimulate change.

"This year's theme of 'power' was chosen to bring the festival back to its campaigning roots."

Now in its eighth year, the 2014 programme will showcase a variety of new films including three UK premieres -Beneath the Blindfold, Alive Inside and Ana Ana.

A special screening of Glasgow Girls will be shown and the First World War will also be remembered during an evening of poetry at Edinburgh Castle.

For more information or tickets, visit