Collaborator Profile: Sutton Mental Health Foundation

Sutton Mental Health Foundation supports local service users take care of their mental health. For the Light and Dark Festival, Ovie Oboh assisted on organising Sutton Mental Health’s theatre performance. Service users created an interactive mixed-media exhibition and theatre performance, which aimed to shed light on seasonal affective disorder.
Sutton Mental Health Foundation

Tell us a little bit about yourselves

We are here for people in Sutton whose mental health has had an impact on their lives. We support people with mental health needs in the community, helping to keep them well and active and helping them to have a voice in mental health care in the borough. We have worked on multiple different projects including the Lucky Ones Exhibition and Steam Ahead Shed Loads Of Happiness.

How were you involved in Sutton STEAMs Ahead?

The name of our project was called Clock Strikes and the focus was to create an awareness around SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) using the theme Night and Day. We collaborated with two facilitators who ran weekly Art and Drama sessions leading up to an Exhibition where they showcased what they had been working on.

We work on promoting and destigmatising Mental Health and this exhibition definitely achieved this as it had many people who had never heard of SAD before discussing it and wanting more information.

We saw this project as a way to help our current users express their individual journeys through Art and Drama. We are very passionate about putting on courses or events that have a focus on prevention and this was one of the major reasons we got involved.
An artpiece consisting of several black wires attached together in a crosshatch fashion forming the shape of a human head, neck and shoulders
Four women smiling towards the camera
Sutton Mental Health Foundation produced 'Clock Strikes', an immersive performance and art exhibition themed around SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

Were there any highlights and/or take-aways from being part of Sutton STEAMs Ahead?

There were many things to take away from this exhibition, with the main thing for us being the confidence the users who participated have gained. Many of the participants who took part had not shared their stories before and really struggled at the beginning. Week after week we could see slow progress they were making and with this the confidence they were gaining. This helped them to trust and share as a team. It was wonderful to see and the impact this has had on some of the individuals since the exhibition has been life changing.

What’s up next for you?

We will always work closely with Sutton to help the community destigmatize Mental Health which in turn will make it easy for people in the future to access services and be able to talk about Mental Health. This project has led to our service starting a new drama class in 2024 which will be led by a user who participated in the exhibition. We hope the work he does will lead to more shows and collaborations with Sutton Council. We hope to continue showcasing some of the work from the exhibition in the near future and do another exhibition later in the year to continue the conversation we have started about SAD and help more people who are struggling with it.
Have you worked with us as part of the Sutton STEAMs Ahead programme? Contact us to potentially feature in a Collaborator Profile. Send an email to
Sutton STEAMs Ahead