Celutions talks on Black History Month
13 October, 2020
As a black voice and somebody who works in mental health, can you talk about some of the barriers you face and any examples you may have?
What do you enjoy about working in the mental health sector? What do you feel are your personal achievements?
Working in the mental health sector is so fulfilling. As a content creator specifically for mental health, it has been amazing to see how many people’s lives have been positively impacted through Celutions. We’ve had the pleasure of being able to work with amazing educational institutions (like the RCPsych!) and have been fortunate to have been recognised by big publications like i-D, HuffPost and The Voice newspaper.
Another achievement is how quickly our community continues to grow – again, knowing that you are changing lives is amazing and seeing and hearing people learn how to look after their own mental health has to be the most enjoyable. When people realise that actually, something can be done, I think I enjoy that the most.
What acts of self-care have you used during these times?
- Spending time with my loved ones – of course during lockdown it was essentially impossible but making sure I did not limit connecting with loved ones to just seeing them in person. Ensuring I was able to connect via phone and online was important.
- Monitoring my social media usage – mindlessly scrolling has been a huge thing during this time but consciously reducing the amount of time spent on social media has had a positive impact on my mood. I would really encourage it.
- Looking after my physical health – it was so easy to neglect at first, but as physical health and mental health are linked, it made such a difference to prioritise exercise, eating well and getting enough sleep.
- Taking time out – we all need to have a break once in a while and it is great to have time to reset.
What role do you think psychiatry has to play in black mental health?
What advice do you have for both black people trying to access mental health care and black people working within the mental health sector?
For black people working within the mental health sector, it is important that we are not disheartened either. Keep pushing for change; it will happen. It might be slow, but it will happen.
George Floyd and Breonna Taylor are just two names from a long list of tragic deaths that have woken up many to how ingrained racism is in society. However, despite things like Blackout Tuesday, some recognition by brands, as well as the countless statements released by organisations, what do you feel needs to be done for black people to be seen?
Through change and understanding, the stigma surrounding black mental health has been somewhat reduced. However, what more would you like to see changed, and what role do you think organisations such as the RCPsych play?
I would like to see organisations such as the RCPsych get involved with organisations that tackle mental health stigma in the black community more frequently. Showing black people that it is okay to struggle sometimes, and teaching them how to help themselves is important. Although the stigma is being reduced, there are just not enough discussions around it.
Black mental health has always been important, but if there is a time to pay it some attention – the time is now. From many years ago to today, we have needed our voices to be heard. And looking forward, not just this month, but every month - every day.