Reality stars join Motherwell band for launch of Lanarkshire Mental Health Arts & Film Festival

Motherwell band Striking Off The Chains is set to open the 10th Lanarkshire festival as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival (SMHAFF) 2016 on Thursday.

Striking Off The Chains

The band met and formed at SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) service Expeerience Counts.

The service offers a peer support service for people in North Lanarkshire experiencing or recovering from mental health problems.

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Striking Off The Chains will perform alongside Pop Idol winner Michelle McManus and Britain’s Got Talent star Edward Reid at the free concert in Colville Park Country Club from 7–10pm.

Eileen Quinn, service manager at Expeerience Counts, said: “This will be the third Lanarkshire SMHAFF launch that Striking Off The Chains have performed at and they have all done extremely well practising for it.

“Music can be very therapeutic for individuals with mental health problems and is a great way to meet other people.

“I hope the band will encourage other folks who play an instrument or sing to get involved with a local band or choir.”

The group is led by peer support worker Mark Docherty.

He said: “It’s a great honour to be invited back to open the festival for the third time, and we’re all looking forward to it.

“Learning the guitar really helped me to overcome my anxiety and depression, and being part of the band and writing music is still a great way for me to express myself creatively.

“I hope other people who might be struggling with mental health problems will see us play and think about how music, or other hobbies, could help them too.”

The Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival 2016 takes place from October 10-31 and is led by the Mental Health Foundation in association with national partners.

For more information visit MHFestival