Every October, we celebrate Black History Month. As part of this, it's important to recognise and celebrate the diverse past, present and future of the College.
Throughout the month, we mark the contribution of some of our Black psychiatrists to mental health services and use the occasion to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black people to society.
Events and activities in 2023
The College is celebrating Black History Month this year by exploring the relationship between Mental Health and the Arts.
We're delighted to introduce you to Oluwatunmise Oladapo Kuku, podcaster, and life coach. Alongside Tunmise is Ms Praise Ogabi. Listen to their in-depth conversation where they share stories of dealing with mental illness, as well as their relationship with using art as a form of therapy.
Throughout Black History Month we are publishing a number of blog posts:
- The arts and art therapy - not a cure-all but its benefits cannot be overlooked - by medical student Oluwamayomikun Ajayi
- Afrodepression: Towards another aesthetic for Black despair - by Dr Dami Ajayi, a writer and psychiatrist
- Inaugural Aggrey Burke Fellows: Daniel Olaniyan - we hear from one of the inaugural Aggrey Burke Fellows
- Another Inaugural Aggrey Burke Fellow, Isabelle Gallier-Birt, wrote about the intersection of mental health and the arts.
- Remembering the struggles, remembering the achievements - by the College's Chief Executive, Paul Rees.
We also held a special free Black History Month webinar for members on 12 October on 'Improving mental health through creativity'. In the webinar (included below), Dr Chinwe Obinwa led a discussion with members of the Culture Club of the UK's Association of Black Psychiatrists.
They discussed how the arts has an important role in celebrating and representing Black culture and as a form of therapy, bringing benefits professionally and personally.
Events and activities in 2022
- Videos (see below): we heard from several doctors who talk about their journeys, achievements, influences and what makes them 'proud to be'
- Olufemi Talabi, a Core Psychiatric Trainee for Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust
- Dr Chinwe Obinwa, a Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist, Clinical Director for Forensic Career Services Derbyshire Healthcare, and President of ABP-UK.
- Dr Itoro Udo, a Consultant Psychiatrist, at City Clinic & Wellness Center, London, Ontario, and an Adjunct Professor at Western University, London, Ontario
- Dr Abimbola Fadipe, Consultant old age psychiatrist, Executive Medical Director Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust
- Dr Dami Ajayi, Specialty Doctor, Barnet Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and Trainee/Blog Editor, BJPsych International
Remembering the struggles, remembering the achievements
For Black History Month, we hear from the College's CEO Paul Rees, who reflects on the challenges he and others have faced with racism, and the inspiring success stories which ...
Identity, culture, and belonging: bridging the gap between mental health and the arts
For Black History Month, we hear from Isballe Gallier-Birt Olaniyan - one of the inaugural recipients of the Aggrey Burke Fellowship scheme. She talks about the intersection of mental health ...
Inaugural Aggrey Burke Fellows: Daniel Olaniyan
For Black History Month, we hear from Daniel Olaniyan - one of the inaugural recipients of the Aggrey Burke Fellowship scheme. He talks about his journey to becoming a medical ...
Afrodepression: towards another aesthetic for Black despair
Dr Dami Ajayi, a writer and psychiatrist, has written our second blog post for Black History Month 2023. He talks about the sub-genre of Afrobeats music known as 'Afrodepression'.Dr Dami Ajayi
The arts and art therapy - not a cure-all but its benefits cannot be overlooked
For this year's Black History Month, we hear from medical student Oluwamayomikun Ajayi about the power of art as a therapy for mental health, and the use of arts in ...Oluwamayomikun Ajayi
Celebrating Black history month 2022 – Dr Mona-Lisa Kwentoh
As part of this year's Black History Month, Lisa Kwentoh reflects on how to define her contributions to both psychiatry and society.Mona-Lisa Kwentoh
Black History Month 2022 – Reflections from RCPsych Chief Executive Paul Rees
The College’s Chief Executive, Paul Rees, speaks about the shocking discrimination his father experienced in the 1960s and 1970s and what he thinks of society now.Paul Rees MBE
Black History Month 2022: reflections from Dr Oluwatomilola Olagunju
For this year's Black History Month, Dr Oluwatomilola Olagunju gives his thoughts on the necessity of a diverse workforce within psychiatry.
Black History Month 2021: reflections from Dr Chinwe Obinwa
For Black History Month, we spoke to Dr Chinwe Obinwa, a consultant forensic psychiatrist at the Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. She spoke to us about her experience being black ...
Black History Month 2021: reflections from Demice Watson
For Black History Month, we spoke to Demice Watson, a Recovery Mental Health Practitioner from Liverpool. She spoke to us about her role and her experience of being a black ...