Andrew Comben, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival Chief Executive appointed Happiness Champion

Brighton Festival

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive Executive Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, has been appointed as a Happiness Champion alongside other key figures from the city in a new initiative launched to mark World Mental Health Day.

GPs and public health experts have joined forces with Sussex Police, local businesses, arts and community groups to raise public awareness of the ways we can all help to improve our mental wellbeing, as well as how services in the city will support people’s mental health over the next three years.

The new Happiness and Wellbeing Strategy produced by NHS Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Brighton & Hove City Council identifies the arts - along with green spaces and architecture - as a key driver of well-being and a rich source of opportunities to fulfil the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ described as: Connect, Be active, Give , Keep learning and Take notice.

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive Executive, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival says:

“Art is a way for all of us to explore feelings and emotions. It opens up in our lives the space for reflection and creates an opportunity for conversation about some of our deepest and most fulfilling experiences.”

“I believe that art and culture has a vital role to play in our individual and collective wellbeing. In art and culture we find explanations for who we are, why we feel the way we do and we are allowed to dream, imagine and work through alternative futures and possibilities. Add to all this the positive benefits of participating – making and doing art, music, dance, theatre – and we have a remarkable way to improve wellbeing, prevent poor mental health and promote engagement, social cohesion and personal fulfilment.”

“As Chief Executive of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival and Chair of Brighton & Hove Arts & Creative Industries Commission, I am committed to fostering the connections between health and wellbeing, art and culture, to making sure that our work is aligned to the needs of our city and encouraging as many of our residents as possible to participate in and engage with the work we do.”

In this year’s Brighton Festival, theatre company Invisible Flock mapped around 550 people’s happy memories of Brighton & Hove in an interactive installation at the Onca Gallery called Bring the Happy. Following this, the artists transformed the memories into a raucous, musical celebration of life. The seaside, student parties, babies born at the hospital and families and neighbours were all strong themes.

For more information about the Happiness and Well-being strategy click here.