Colourful-minds is a mental health charity. We aim to improve public understanding of mental health and mental illness through education in the Black and minority ethnic community. Registered Charity No. 1193945
The Colourful-Minds team are dedicated to being ambassadors for people with mental health difficulties. We aim to reduce stigma, prejudice and discrimination as well as promote equality. We consider it our duty to educate the public about mental health. Through engaging organisations, delivering workshops in our local community and beyond we aim to debunk myths about mental illness.
Our outreach to schools provides a unique opportunity to influence young minds into having positive attitudes towards those suffering from mental illness. We have a particular interest in working with communities densely populated with ethnic minorities and high levels of social deprivation. Our outreach to churches and religious organisations allows us to better understand the cultures within our community; allowing us to bridge the gap, and present relatable faces of mental health 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 from the colourful-minds organisation.
Health promotion and education is an important and effective primary prevention strategy. We aim to engage with as many schools and 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 community.
Experiences of mental health problems reflect different cultural and socio-economic contexts. Individuals from the BME community are statistically more likely to be diagnosed with a mental health problem and more likely to be admitted to hospital.
Studies also show that they are more likely to experience poor outcome and more likely to disengage from mainstream services.
We offer 2 hour sessions at primary schools (year 5 and 6 students), secondary schools and colleges. We aim to attend each organisation a minimum of 2 occasions to deliver introductory and follow up workshops.
We run workshops tailored to supporting teachers with advice about common mental illnesses and identifying students that may be struggling with mental health difficulties.
We offer drop in events that parents are invited to attend after dropping their children off for school in the mornings, providing the opportunity for health promotion and sign posting to 3rd sector services in the community should they have any concerns regarding their own or their child's mental health.
We carry out robust evaluation of the services we provide to allow us to continually ensure quality improvement. We also gather data that measures the success of our project in terms of reducing stigma around mental illness.
Our psychologists offer 4 training sessions to staff on creating and sustaining reflective practice groups.
General Adult Psychiatrist
"Coming from a part of London, home to many ethnic diasporas I have always been curious about the way my community and the general public react to mental illness. As a psychiatrist, I feel it is important to be an ambassador for mental health. As a clinician, I have seen first-hand how harmful stigmas can be. What better time to begin educating the public about mental health than in childhood."
General Adult Psychiatrist
"I joined this project as I am passionate about using innovative ways to engage the public and take steps in tackling stigma."
Specialist IT & social media champion
"Although I don't work in mental health, I wanted to work with the team because I believe that it's important to equip young people with the tools and skills to deal with mental health issues. Social media is a great way to promote awareness in the younger generation."
Specialist Trainee CAMHS Psychiatrist
"I have an interest in children's mental health as I believe it is an important public health objective. Supporting and encouraging our younger generation to cope is a great way to improve the health of our future generation."
"I've always felt that the most difficult time we go through is when we are young. Navigating, discovering, learning and most importantly connecting. Mental illness can create a painful chasm between the world and self. Helping young people, the future of this world, learn, understand and ultimately destigmatize mental illness will help build a stronger future. A future where all of us take an approach of loving kindness towards our fellow beings."
"The Colourful-Minds team is built up of passionate and determined individuals with the common goal of raising mental health awareness. We aim to encourage the public to do more to help those affected, allowing them to feel empowered to seek help as they need it and campaign for change if their needs are not met."
Core Trainee in Psychiarty
"It's essential that mental health education is easily and readily available to everyone as it concerns everyone. This amazing project aims to do this as well as reduce stigma which can be high, especially in the ethnic minority communities. This is the reason I feel privileged to be a part of the team."
"As a mother to two young boys, I'm confident that we can capture minds at an early stage, giving our youth the best chances of success. I feel it is important that we support society to break unhealthy attitudes that make people with mental illnesses feel isolated and afraid. We must tackle mental health issues head on!"
MSc Mental Health Postgraduate
“As a young person, navigating the world around you can be daunting, and when faced with the additional problem of being ill-equipped in how to recognise ill-mental health in yourself and others in particularly difficult times, it can be further challenging. The work of Colourful-Minds is important to aid in reducing the shame around discussing mental health; therefore, contributing to forming more positive and open discourse, to create safe spaces to have these important conversations.”
Psychiatry Research Assistant
"As someone who has struggled with their own mental health, I find the ethos of this organization not only noble, but essential, and it is the primary reason I joined this team. I believe tackling mental health stigma head on and passing on practices of mental wellbeing is not just vital for the individual to grow and prosper, but our society also - and this belief is reflected in the hard work of the Colourful-Minds team."
"I decided to join Colourful-Minds as I am passionate about improving access to mental health services for Black and other marginalised communities, whilst also advocating for further inclusion and visibility of Black, Asian and ethnic minority therapists and trainees."
Senior Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner/Marketing Comms Officer
"Working as a therapist in mental health services has taught me first hand how stigma and attitudes towards mental health difficulties can make access almost impossible for those who need it. I believe support and information should be easily accessible for all. I am also passionate in equipping people with information at any stage of their journey. These values are reflected in Colourful-Minds’ work and goals. I’m honoured to be part of a team providing the information in safe spaces for the community."
Specialty Registrar in Old Age Psychiatry
"Mental health needs of older adults from black, asian and minority ethnic groups are often neglected. Elderly people from these communities typically face difficulties when trying to access mental health services and support, especially in a timely manner. The reasons for this include racism, a lack of awareness, a lack of a proactive and culturally informed approach from services and stigma. All of this is unacceptable and must be continually addressed and rectified. I feel excited and privileged to be working alongside likeminded and passionate individuals where together we can educate, reduce stigma and hopefully improve outcomes for these communities."
"I am a Consultant Midwife with a passion in perinatal mental health and health inequality in black and minority ethnic communities. Colourful-Minds is an opportunity for me to give back to the community and drive forward positive change and equality for black and minority ethnic people."
Colourful Minds became involved in the statutory guidance consultation for the Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 2018 (also known as Seni’s Law) after meeting Mrs Ajibola Lewis, the mother of Seni Lewis. Seni Lewis was a 23-year-old black male graduate, who died after being subjected to restraint involving 11 police officers following his voluntary admission onto a mental health unit.
Since Seni's death, Mrs Lewis and her family have campaigned tirelessly to reduce the use of force in mental health units and to avoid future deaths and serious injuries.
As an ambassador for black and ethnic minority communities, we felt it was vital that Colourful Minds undertook research to respond to the consultation since Black/Black British people, people of mixed heritage and people of other ethnic groups (i.e. non-South Asians) are four, three and two times more likely respectively, to be subjected to restrictive interventions (i.e. use of force) in NHS funded mental health units than white people according to the NHS data. We want to see greater emphasis placed on preventing the use of force and understanding as to why certain groups are disproportionately affected by use of force. We want to see accountability and transparency prioritised, so that patients from all backgrounds can feel confident and safe whilst under the care of mental health services.
Please click the link below to read our full consultation response, including recommendations.
Wednesday 22 April 2020
Zoom, Meeting ID: 825-5274-3715, from 7pm prompt
Webinar featuring a panel of doctors, with a mental health focus
Friday 22 November 2019
King's College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London
Colourful-minds stall and presentation on mental health in the BAME community
Wednesday 3 July 2019
197 Marsh Wall, Isle of Dogs, London
Presentations and talks, as well as a Q&A session on mental health.
Saturday 20 July 2019
Conel Enfield Centre, Enfield
An awareness day for young people, families and the community. An opportunity to interact with the public with quizzes and questionnaires, as well as answer questions on who we are, what we do and the services we offer.
Friday 29 March 2019
Upper Beulah Hill, Upper Norwood, London
Workshops with Year 6 pupils involving group activities and discussions, followed by a quiz.
Thursday 21 March 2019
Southwark Council, London
Presentation introducing who we are, what we do and the services we offer.