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Mental Health Art Week is celebrating its 10th year anniversary this year and is organized nationwide at the end of May. Our theme for the year is Connections; we encourage everyone to foster meaningful connections through arts and culture.

Together with MIELI member asscoiations accross Finland, members of the Association of Finnish Symphony Orchestras and local partner organizations MHAW offers you a wide range of activities between the 20th and 26th of May, including theatre performances, concerts, variety of hands-on workshops, exhibitions, unique opportunities to meet artists and backstage access, forest walks, demonstrations and inspiring discussions. Mental Health Art Week welcomes everyone on board, because arts and cultural engagement fosters our overall wellbeing.

Most of the MHAW workshops and discussions are conducted in Finnish, however, arts and culture sees no boundaries in connecting people. Follow our MHAW Facebook-page for the latest news and events. There are 30 cities involved with this year’s MHAW week and close to 200 events in total accross Finland. If you are specifically interested in English speaking events and are residing in the capital city region, keep an eye on our member association MIELI without Borders.

How can I take part in supporting MHAW?

  • Follow our Facebook-page for upcoming events and participate in activities.
  • During MHAW -week share your own arts & cultural engagement in social media with hashtags #mhaw2024 #hyväämieltäkulttuurista and #connectingintune. Invite friends to join you and encourage people around you to participate in cultural activities; to visit museums, exhibitions, to listen music, dance, take pictures, join crafts workshops, etc.
  • Share on social media what cultural wellbeing means to you, how you foster your wellbeing through creative means and what connections are important to you.
  • If you are organizing a cultural event of your own or through your organization during MHAW week, highlight the importance of mental wellbeing in your event. Be vocal about Mental Health Art Week and our main message: Cultural participation fosters mental wellbeing!
  • Find the closest MIELI member association to you, connect and make your event be part of the national MHAW -campaign.
  • Offer a hand in preparations and volunteer in MHAW -events. Join our volunteering community, for example through MIELI without Borders.
  • By supporting MHAW, you are supporting us.

Mental health is a universal right and so is art, creativity and culture

MHAW-cultural activities that are organized nationwide not only offer low threshold access to cultural events, raise awareness on the positive impact of culture and art activities on mental wellbeing, they also challenge the stigma associated with mental health problems via creative means. MIELI member associations, in cooperation with local partner organizations, organize MHAW events that are coordinated from our headquarters in Pasila.

Mental Health Art Week (MHAW) was originally born in Scotland and has been organized every year during the last week of May by MIELI Mental Health Finland since 2014.

Clinical studies have found that arts engagement promotes patient recovery, relaxation and reduces stress, anxiety and depression. In the elderly, arts engagement reduces depressed mood, enhances self-worth and promotes positive aging. Arts programs for young people have been linked with improved motivation, self-image, hope for the future and self-esteem.

Where population-based studies have been conducted, arts engagement has been associated with perceptions of happiness and stress reduction (BMC Public Health 16, art 15, 2015).


Melis Arı-Gürhanlı
Mental Health Art Week coordinator
+358 40 186 8122