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HEALING OUR BROKEN VILLAGE 9

BLACK MENTAL HEALTH CONFERENCE AND BLACK HISTORY EXHIBITION

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 the presentations:

Malik Gul – “Inside, Outside: A Programme for Change” – download here

David Bradley – SWLSTG Update – download here

Dr. Frank Keating – Supporting Black Men towards Mental Health Recovery: the Role of our Communities – download here

HEALING OUR BROKEN VILLAGE 8:

Our 8th annual Black Mental Health conference held at the New Testament Assembly

The purpose and emphasis of the conference was to provide evidence that engages with and empowers communities to make positive differences to the health and wellbeing of communities . To identify ways in which engaging and empowering communities produces more appropriate services, improves quality and increases value and to consider what type and level of support is needed from public agencies and other key stakeholders to transform exclusion to active engagement.

We heard from David Bradley, Chief Executive of the local Mental Health Trust, on the system change processes being enabled by his organisation; Dr. Frank Keating on the social factors that impact on the health of African and African Caribbean men; Rachel Rose Burrell on her research into the role of the black church and mental health; Bishop Delroy Powell on the role of faith leaders and a performance by TIA on the experience of black women and mental health. This was supplemented by our Black History Exhibition and community heroes.

During the conference a list of top priorities were identified on the day and through the evaluation forms:

  • More support needed for staff to engage in difficult work
  • More focus on other therapies, rather than medication, including more activities
  • More information for carers and service users to be made more readily available
  • Is the right type of training in place for staff who are diagnosing in communities of diversity and culture?
  • Need to raise awareness amongst staff, and provide training, on the challenges and issues in Wandsworth’s diverse communities
  • Increase access to Talking Therapies
  • Patients should be listened to and communicated with more regularly
  • Need for Day Centres – to socialise, combat isolation and help with benefits etc.
  • How is the Trust being held accountable for promises made at previous conferences?
  • We should be working with schools

This list was then presented to the BME Mental Health Forum to determine the top 3 priorities for David Bradley and the SWLSTG Mental Health Trust and which they will account for at the next conference. They decided upon:

  1. We should be working with schools
  2. Need to raise awareness amongst staff, and provide training, on the challenges and issues in Wandsworth’s diverse communities
  3. More focus on other therapies, rather than medication, including more activities

More information and videos from previous conferences can be found below:

Gallery

Previous HOBV Posters

HOBV Videos

Project Updates