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‘MindFEST’ wants to get Louisvillians talking about mental health and wellness

MindFEST 2024 is a free festival advocating for mental health awareness.
Marcel Strauß
MindFEST 2024 is a free festival advocating for mental health awareness.

May is mental health awareness month, and an annual festival that elevates the importance of mental wellness returns to Louisville.

The third annual MindFEST aspires to get Louisvillians talking more openly about mental health and to connect them to resources and tools.

Yoga, breathwork and an array of mental health workshops are on tap for the third edition of MindFEST with the theme “Breaking Stigmas, Sharing Strength.” The event includes meditation events, writing and creative healing workshops, and sessions on “understanding brain differences in children with mental diagnoses” and “authentic empowerment.”

Amanda Villaveces is the event’s coordinator, a family and marriage therapist, and executive director of nonprofit Mental Health Lou. She said MindFEST was created to be inclusive and holistic and has activities that support mental health while normalizing and destigmatizing it.

The idea sprung from her discussions with therapists and other individuals. Villaveces said she and others within the mental health profession are conscious about the need for representing communities who face financial and cultural barriers when accessing mental health care, with sessions in previous years on Black men’s mental health.

The free event will have vendors, food trucks and performances, and will highlight veterans’ mental health with a panel discussion.

Villaveces said she’s gotten positive feedback on past years.

“It can be really hard sometimes for people to feel comfortable talking about mental health…and having this as a space where you know, where it's just a known fact, we're going to talk about mental health care. So, people feel a lot more comfortable,” she said.

MindFEST will be held at the Roots 101 African American Museum on May 26 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Details here.

Divya is LPM's Race & Equity Reporter. Email Divya at dkarthikeyan@lpm.org.

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