Thrive at the Fringe: New focus on mental health at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

02 August 2023

A new partnership between the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership (EHSCP), Health in Mind and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society has today launched resources targeting artists, locals and visitors to help boost their mental health during the festival this August.

The iconic Edinburgh Fringe is the biggest cultural festival in the world, attracting people from across the globe each year – in 2022 2.2 million tickets were issued. For some, this exciting and busy month can also pose mental health challenges which is why we have created Thriving at the Fringe.

The new resource aims to help people enjoy the Fringe and navigate what can be a busy and overwhelming time for some people. Thriving at the Fringe gives information on how to manage the stress of navigating large crowds and highlights useful ways to connect with others.

Other useful guidance is given on how to deal with the heat and its impact on mental health as Edinburgh’s festivals take place in one of our warmest months, and despite Scotland’s reputation for drizzle, we can also get soaring temperatures in August.

Despite being an exciting time in Edinburgh, there are many people for whom services are vital and that is why our new resource aims to connect people with the communities in Edinburgh who are there to help, from free food and support for the homeless to mental health support for anyone who needs it.

Rt Hon Robert Aldridge, Lord Provest of The City of Edinburgh, said “I’m always so mindful too of the performers, whether it’s their first or tenth time; sense of excitement, anticipation and trepidation and that’s why I’m delighted that this year Thrive Edinburgh is working with the Fringe Society and Health in Mind to produce this booklet which gives great tips and advice for looking after your mental health and wellbeing.”

Mike Massaro-Mallinson, Chief Officer of the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “I love the Edinburgh Fringe and it feels such a privilege to have this exciting event on our doorstep. I used to see it as a frustration, battling through crowds, being delayed when wanting to get across town quickly. However, once we embraced the Fringe, there has been no turning back! I LOVE the energy, the diversity of people, the diversity of culture, the creativeness, the comedy, the dance, the drama, the music, the people watching… in fact I love it all!”

Alana Genge, Head of Engagement at Health in Mind said: “Thriving at the Fringe is a vibrant booklet that includes a wide range of mental health and wellbeing information that’s helpful for not only summer in Edinburgh but all year around. I loved reading citizen’s and artist’s memories of the Fringe and what the festival means to them. I hope the guide will help you Thrive at the Fringe this year so you can create some lasting memories too.”

Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Health in Mind and the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership this August to signpost services available to audiences attending the Fringe, and artists performing across the city. The Fringe can be an exhilarating yet intense environment, and in producing the Thrive at the Fringe booklet, we hope that through this new partnership we can share information on all the services and support available this August.”


Thrive at the Fringe is a joint resource provided by Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership, Health in Mind and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society.

You can download the booklet from the iThrive website.

For more information, please email

Notes to Editors:

What is Thrive Edinburgh

Thrive Edinburgh is the city’s mental health and wellbeing strategy. Thrive Edinburgh is a city where every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to contribute to her or his community.1 Our ability to thrive as human beings and as a city is closely tied to our mental health. We have made it our goal to promote mental health and protect our citizens’ resilience, self-esteem, family strength and joy and reduce the toll of mental illness on individuals, our communities, and our city.

What is the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership?

In Edinburgh, the City of Edinburgh Council and NHS Lothian have integrated the planning and delivery of all community health and social care services for adults and older people, along with mental health and disability services.

This work is directed by the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board and largely delivered by the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership.

The Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership responsible for delivering community and bed-based health and social care services for adults in Edinburgh.

The Partnership is made up of over 5,000 colleagues employed by both the City of Edinburgh Council and NHS Lothian who work in health centres, GP Practices, community hospitals, care homes, nursing homes and communities across the city. Our staff provide care and support for people with mental health problems, long term physical conditions, as well as substance misuse problems.

We’re led by an integrated Executive Leadership and Senior Management Team and provide services through the four localities of North East, North West, South East and South West. We also work closely with many charities, the third sector and independent health and social care contractors and providers.

About Health in Mind

Health in Mind is one of Scotland’s best-known and trusted mental health charities. We’ve been in Edinburgh since 1982 and through our unique pathway of support, collaborations, campaigns and resources, we build hope, resilience and understanding of mental health and wellbeing. Each year we support 4,000 people to live the life they want to live. We put people at the heart of all we do and are committed to creating opportunities for people to progress in their lives. You can find out more about Health in Mind and how we can support you at

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