A collaboration between Black Thrive and the Mental Health Promotion Team at South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) has produced a set of recommendations aimed at shaping culturally appropriate mental health support for young black men.
In its report, the Lambeth Young Black Men’s Mental Health & Wellbeing: Co-production Project (which started early 2019) highlights how input from young black participants has created a vision for tailor made services and approaches. These include creating culturally informed spaces with appropriate staff, individual therapy and innovative group interventions, spaces specifically for GBTO+ men, ‘raising the visibility’ (awareness that it’s ok to seek support) , as well as cultural diversity in the workforce and in public mental health approaches. All will need investment and long term commitments, as well as further research, ‘that will make the biggest impact’.
“The Young Black Men’s mental health project was very enjoyable as it felt like we truly encompassed the meaning of co-production,” says Black Thrive’s Sadiki Harris, Communications Lead and Community Engagement Worker who teamed up with Taiwo Azeez, Research Assistant and Dr Chanelle Myrie, Project Lead from SLaM’s Mental Health Promotion Team.
What was crucial was working collaboratively with the young black participants and the report acknowledges ‘our responsibility as practitioners to amplify their voices to bring about meaningful change’.
“The young men were brilliant and vocal, their ideas mattered, and we made sure they knew that, ” adds Sadiki.
Read the report here.