2nd annual mental health festival returns this month

MiNDFEST is a free, family-friendly mental health event.

Emily Davis at MindFEST Louisville in 2022

Emily Davis (far left) is the founder and president of MiNDFEST, which brings mental health resources and information to the public.

Photo by MiNDFEST

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and in Kentucky, 37.4% of adults reported symptoms of anxiety and/or a depressive disorder — compared to 32.3% of adults across the US.

To help Louisvillians learn more about mental health and find available resources, Emily Davis created MiNDFEST, a free annual community event. This year’s festival will take place at the Roots 101 African American Museum on Sunday, May 21.

After starting a podcast about her own mental health struggles two years ago, Emily began connecting with resources around town and decided Derby City needed an event to bring them all together for the public.

“Everyone’s struggling, and some people don’t like talking about it and don’t know where to look,” she said.

Now in its second year, MiNDFEST offers an afternoon of family-friendly music, food, entertainment, art, yoga, vendors, panel discussions + more.

Activity at MindFEST Louisville 2022

A group participates in a mindful art project at MiNDFEST 2022.

Photo by MiNDFEST

“This year, it’s a panel of all Black men talking about mental health,” Emily said. “I think it’s really important for the Black community to destigmatize [mental health], so that is a focus this year.”

She added that the 2023 event’s overall theme is “I have a story to tell” because simply speaking out about mental health and having transparent conversations can be lifesaving. “We want everyone to know that it’s OK to tell your story,” she said.

Admission to MiNDFEST is free, but you can register online to let the organizers know you’re coming.

For more mental health resources, visit louisvilleky.gov or Mental Health Lou, and mark your calendars for Friday, August 18-Saturday, August 19, when mental health-focused music festival The Big Stomp comes to The Parklands.

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