From 2017-2019 SAIE has worked towards improving the generational gap in understanding around mental health in Afro-Caribbean communities. (COVID-19 amongst a few other reasons caused as to step back for a while, but we are now back with such amazing plans for 2022).
Our mission is to find solutions to mental health service provision for Afro-Caribbean service users. As well as raise awareness, followed through with action to encourage individuals to talk about mental health.
Since we started the organisation in 2017;
• We have worked with 3000 young people age 18 to 30, across London,
• We have held 15 mental health workshops and brought people together to discuss topics ranging from; PTSD & Gangs culture, work place stress, depression, anxiety, post-natal depression and much more.
• We have led talks about mental health at 4 universities.
• We also began a movie project with creatives discuss their views and tips on dealing with MH.
However, there is a need for more to be done! More action is needed to help those suffering from mental health. Over the last few years SAIE has relied massively on sponsors from friends and family. We were fortunate to receive funding from Black Girl Fest and a private donor.
Now more than ever, there is an increased need for funding in order to reach more people and continue to help individuals with mental health needs. We need your help to help those in need! This is our first crowdfunding!
With your funding, we will be able to;
• We will be able to offer individuals between 6-10 free therapy sessions with one of our therapist partners. Our aim is to do this for a minimum of 50 - 100 people in 2022.
• We will be able to hold more mental health awareness /action events.
• Put on our theatre production on mental health, and tour this in universities to raise awareness and educate individuals.
• We will also be able to offer mental health training to a further 100 people, which will enable them to spot the signs, reduce stigma and discrimination, understand their own mental health and much more.
• We will be able to continue our 'Let’s Talk' Mental health film project.
Mental health is viewed heavily as a taboo subject within African and Caribbean communities, with mental health, often being linked to voodoo culture, one not being religious enough or even weakness. This along with the heavy expectation for Black people to be strong, and deal with their issues results in many mental health sufferers suffering in silence. Black boys are 17 times more likely to be sectioned than their white male counterparts, and figures of admission for Black women as a single cohort remains unrecorded.
37% of inpatient in mental health institutions are Black despite Black people only accounting for 7% of the UK’s population. 56% of Black people in Mental health institution are there because of being sectioned. Despite concerns of institutional racism little has been done to improve service provision for African and Caribbean people.
An independent review of the Mental Health Act, which was submitted to the government in 2018, found that “profound inequalities” exist for BME patients accessing mental health services. The report focused primarily on the overrepresentation of BME in-patients in psychiatric units: black British people are four times more likely to be sectioned than white patients. BME patients are also more likely to be given medication rather than being offered talking therapies (e.g. counselling and psychotherapy). Only 10% of those surveyed felt that their talking therapy service adequately took into consideration their cultural background, with a third of the respondents believing that the service was not fit for BME people.
BME patients complain about their therapists gaslighting them if they talk about racism they have experienced, with some even becoming defensive; others point to racial stereotyping and a lack of understanding about cultural nuances.
SAIE aims to tackle these issues, our key objectives are to;
• Reconstructing the existing social stigma around mental health in the Afro-Caribbean diasporas intergenerationally.
• Providing help and support for mental health sufferers within Southwark and surrounding Boroughs.
• To work towards improving the generational gap in understanding around mental health in African and Caribbean communities.
• Find solutions to the issues around mental health service provision for African and Caribbean people.