Run your own Workshop

Information on how to run your own Foolish Optimism film screening and workshop.
We would love to hear from anyone who wants to put on an event, and we will help in any way possible.

Step 1: Invitation

Decide who you want to invite. In general, you will have a more honest conversation if you invite people you really care about. Friends, family, colleagues, professionals - anyone in your network who you think would benefit from a conversation about mental health, or add an interesting dimension to the conversation. You can invite as many people as you like, but good conversation tends to happen in groups of five to twelve people. It's your event - you decide!

Step 2: Location

You will need a location that is private and has access to a television or projector. The size of your invite list will give you some idea of how big a space you need. It can be your home, a friend's home, or a more neutral space like a community centre or church building. If you need help locating a space, please get in touch with us and we will help in any way we can. The main requirements is that the space is safe, private and comfortable. The event should last no longer than about two hours.

Please remember that you will need to be able to connect your laptop or similar to play the film, so make sure you have all the necessary cables. If possible, do a trial run some time before the event to make sure everything works on the day.

Step 3: Set a date

Decide when your event is going to be. There are two ways to do this - you can try to reach a consensus with attendees for the most suitable date, or you can decide the date yourself with the understanding that some people may not be able to make it.

Reaching a consensus can take longer, but will allow more people to attend. One way to speed this process up is to send out a list of provisional dates using Doodle and opt for the date where most people are available.

Step 4: Event

It's time for your event! Have some soft drinks and snacks available. Introduce anyone who doesn't already know each other . You can play a game as an icebreaker if there are a lot of people who don't know each other already.  Once you are all comfortable, watch the film together. Afterwards, as organiser, it will be your job to lead a discussion about the film. There is no wrong way to have this discussion, but try to make sure everyone has a chance to speak, and that the discussion remains respectful. If people are hesitant to speak up, you can prompt them using the following questions:

  1. How did the film make you feel?
  2. How do you personally relate to the stories you have heard?
  3. Do you think mental health services need to change? What would you change? Why?
  4. Young people today are more stressed and anxious than ever. Why do you think this is?
  5. How do you manage your own mental health challenges? Do you have any coping strategies that might be useful to others?
  6. What do you hope this same conversation will be like in the future?

Try to record the results of this discussion however you feel is appropriate, but always ask permission from the people involved. Some people may not feel like sharing too much at the time - please let them know that they can share their stories in confidence and read stories from people facing similar challenges at

Don't be afraid to get creative! Drawing, writing, singing and acting are all excellent ways of expressing new ideas, and we would love to see what you come up with.

Step 5: Feedback

Please send the results of your workshop to, or mail to Foolish Optimism c/o The Workshop, 205-207 Hilltown, Dundee DD3 7AF. All of the stories, discussions and information we gather will feed into the report being published early 2019, and the larger project thereafter. We will contact you to let you know exactly how we plan to use the materials you provide, and get your permission to do so.

We would also be very grateful if you could download and complete an evaluation form at the end of your event. This helps us ensure that we are reaching the people we need to, and that our efforts and funding are directed appropriately.