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Black Health Matters: Colourful-Minds

A part of the black health matters series, this week we are looking into topics surrounding mental health within our communities. We are delighted to introduce the wonderful team at Colourful-Minds.

We're Colourful-Minds! We are a team of psychiatrists, psychologists, allied mental health professionals, volunteers from other professional backgrounds as well as individuals with lived experience of mental health difficulties. We are made up volunteers from a variety of ethnic and multi-faith backgrounds. As well as inhabiting black and brown bodies we also represent a variety of identities that find themselves marginalised in society.

We are passionate about advocating for the mental health needs of people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. As many of us are clinicians working in mental health, we have observed first-hand the disconnect between black and minority ethnic communities and mainstream mental health services. We have also identified that stigma and shame surrounding mental illness in these communities has contributed significantly to this disconnect. We aim to bridge this gap by presenting relatable faces of mental health services and amplify the voices from these communities so they can be heard in spaces where decisions are made about their care.

We are dedicated to being ambassadors for black and minority ethnic people with mental health difficulties, and aim to reduce stigma, prejudice and discrimination as well as promote equality. We do this through, advocacy, education and research. By engaging with mental health, 3rd sector and community organisations, we are able to deliver dynamic workshops in our local community and beyond providing the space for important dialogue and learning on topics around mental illness and well-being.

Health promotion and education is an important and effective strategy for preventing mental ill health. As we expand as an organisation we aim to engage with as many schools, churches, mosques and other community organisations as possible. By improving public understanding of mental illness we can promote better engagement with mental health services, particularly within the black and minority ethnic communities. Experiences of mental health problems reflect different cultural and socio-economic contexts. Individuals from these communities are statistically more likely to be diagnosed with a severe mental health problem and are more likely to be admitted to hospital. Studies also show that they are more likely to experience poor outcomes and disengage from mainstream services.

We look forward to a future in which schools, churches, mosques, community clubs, youth centres all have access to education about mental health, well-being and mental illness; delivered by mental health professionals or trained volunteers. We also hope that our work will support much needed reform in mental health services so that they can be better adapted to meet the needs of the communities they serve.

Find out more about Colourful-Minds on their pages:

Instagram: colourfulminds_org

Twitter: @MindsColourful


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