Email: info@wcen.org.uk Phone: 44+ (0) 207 720 9110

Thank you to everyone who attended HOBV9 last week Thursday. It was a stimulating event, exploring the issues and inequalities around black mental health where we heard from David Bradley, Chief Executive, South West London and St Georges NHS Mental Health Trust, who gave an update on the progress that is being made to reduce these inequalities, following last years conference. It is increasingly clear that Mental Health services, by themselves, are not going to address the prevalence of poor mental health and well-being in our communities. It is the social environment in which we all live and work that has the greatest impact on us. Dr Frank Keating, Royal Holloway, University of London, presented a key note address and discussion on what are the social factors that determine good and bad mental health, and what needs to change to build and sustain mentally well communities.

At last years conference we discussed the importance of working with children and young people so that early signs of distress can be addressed quicker and sooner. Recent reports have shown the increase in rates of depression amongst young people, with many also living in traumatic conditions with violence and the fear of violence a constant presence. What needs to happen to ensure that young people in our communities are kept safe and well? We were joined by Dr Fatima Bibi Consultant Psychologist at Postive Futures and Tanya Matthews & The Inner Attitude who explored these issues.

We expanded our Black History Exhibition, which had additional sections on the Anti-Colonial Movement and a focus on the cultural shifts experienced by Black communities in the UK, and also incorporated a Black art and photography exhibition curated by Michael Mapp with work loaned from Neil Kenlock and Charlie “Roots” PhillipsOther works featured by Michael Mapp, Rowan Clarke, Karla Cornwall and Gary March.

We also built on our tradition of acknowledging and honouring members of our community who continue to make a contribution to our work, and to the betterment of our communities, this year honouring Raficq Abdulla, Joan Robinson, Pastor Edward Abu Maliki and Rev. Kofi-William Ofaso.

Please see below for the gallery from HOBV9 and keep an eye out for the film and presentations.

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