Mental Wealth Festival

Monday 7 - Saturday 12 October 2019

The fifth edition of the Mental Wealth Festival returns this October 2019 to coincide with World Mental Health Day (10th October 2019). This year we focus on 'tribe' wealth, relationships, family, friendship and the importance of community and support networks. We will also focus on loneliness and isolation, the impact this can have on mental health and wellbeing and the strategies and tools to support this.

The Festival will continue to highlight the way mental health issues impact on so many aspects of daily life, and how the arts, politics, culture, faith and the media can support our ‘mental wealth’.  We will once again bring together professionals and key stakeholders to discuss mental health issues to create a community that is focused on staying well and not reinforcing the issues that make people unwell.  

The Festival provides a forum for informative, challenging and inspiring discussions and workshops exploring mental health issues and takes places across different venues in London. The Mental Wealth Festival is produced by City Lit in partnership with our friends at Beyond Words, The National Gallery, The British Museum and Mad World.

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Watch last year’s video…

Speakers 2019

  • Rohini Bakshi

    Rohini Bakshi has an M.A in Hindu Studies from SOAS, University of London. She teaches Sanskrit, Vedic Chanting, Yogasutras of Patanjali and Hindi.


  • Ed Balls

    City Lit Fellow Ed Balls is a broadcaster, writer and economist. He is a Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and Visiting Professor at King’s College London. His popular BBC TV series ‘Travels in Trumpland: with Ed Balls’ was broadcasted in July 2018 and a second series ‘Travels in Europe with Ed Balls’ will air on BBC 2 later this year. 

  • Clare Barton-Harvey

    Clare Barton-Harvey is a full time artist, tutor and freelance workshop teacher/trainer living and working in London. She has been practising mindfulness for over 25 years and have been teaching drawing and mindfulness courses and workshops for over 15 years. 

  • Peter Brown

    Peter has worked at City Lit for 16 years as a teacher co-ordinator BSL Level 1 and 2 also a Deaf history lecturer. He teaches both deaf and hearing students, some of which have mental and physical health needs. 


  • Benjamin Chwistek

    Ben holds a PhD in Political Theory. He has taught politics, history and philosophy at universities in the UK and Europe. Alongside this, he has spoken at numerous conferences and events, primarily on topics relating to myth, violence, and democracy.

  • Karen Dempsey

    Karen is also a qualified, accredited and practising psychotherapist with an MA/diploma in transpersonal integrative counselling & psychotherapy. Her dissertation researched the power of therapeutic writing to heal creative blocks and build emotional resilience.

  • Paul Dolan

    Paul Dolan is a Professor of Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science. As an internationally renowned expert on happiness, behaviour and public policy, with over 100 peer-reviewed papers, he conducts original research into the measurement of happiness, its causes and consequences.

  • Cathinka Guldberg

    Cathinka is a Speech and Language Therapist at City Lit who specialises in working with adults who stammer. Cathinka helped with the film  ‘When I Stutter’, a powerful portrayal of the potentially isolating experience of living with a stammer.

  • Baroness Sheila Hollins

    City Lit Fellow Baroness Hollins is the founder, editor and lead author of the Books Beyond Words series and Chairs the Board of Beyond Words, a not for profit Community Interest Company. She is Emeritus Professor of the Psychiatry of Disability at St George’s, University of London, and sits in the House of Lords as a crossbench peer.

  • Matt Johnson

    As a popular Welsh Broadcaster, Matt is well known for presenting for hit ITV shows including Surprise Surprise, Good Morning Britain and This Morning. Matt's other broadcasting credits include: The National Lottery on BBC One, Channel 5's OKTV and Radio 5 Live's Fighting Talkand. Together with Ben Bidwell, Matt is one half of the #1 podcast show “The Naked Professors” that embraces conversations about mental health in a vulnerable but relatable way.

  • Tanvi Kant

    Tanvi Kant is a contemporary textiles artist and jeweller exploring simple hand-constructed techniques in textiles & mixed-media. She has over ten years experience in running workshops within a variety of settings including galleries, museums, education and women's charities. 

  • Dr Joanna Kyffin

    Jo Kyffin is an Egyptologist who specialises in the Egyptian Language. Having completed her PhD in 2009, she worked at the University of Copenhagen, and the Egypt Exploration Society, and currently teaches Hieroglyphs at City Lit, while also running an online teaching platform, HieroEducation. 

  • Charlotte Seirberg

    Charlotte is a movement educator and mindfulness teacher with over 11 years of experience. A Feldenkrais Practitioner, Pilates teacher, Postural Stability Instructor and Mindfulness for Stress and Mindfulness-based Pain Management teacher. BA Social Anthropology and Economics.

  • Ian Tucknott

    Ian is an educator, cultural theorist and creative practitioner, with 15 years experience of teaching & managing in the areas of contemporary art, critical & cultural theory, and art history. Ian is currently Head of School for Humanities & Sciences at City Lit.