SOUND MINDS, a mental health charity based in Battersea, has published a book of poems in response to the traumatic events that revolutionised the Black Lives Matter movement last year.
Black Lives Matter: Reflections from the mental health system is written by Sound Minds’ service users, staff and volunteers. You can order a copy by contacting Sound Minds.
All sales of the book will be donated to Canerows, Sound Minds’ peer support service for improving mental health care for people from BME backgrounds.
Black Lives Matter: Reflections from the mental health system includes 19 poems written by Sound Minds staff, volunteers and others with experience of the mental health system.
The poems are in response to the killing of George Floyd last year and reflect on the wider inequality, discrimination and violence faced by the Black community.
Founded in 2009, Canerows is a user-led service working to improve the lives of people who are overcoming mental health issues, particularly people from BME backgrounds who are over-represented in the mental health system.
The service sees Sound Minds staff and volunteers provide weekly support sessions to those in local mental health wards, as well as support to people in the months after they leave hospital.
Many of the staff and volunteers have lived experience of mental health wards, providing a unique support service to people in the wards.
Frances Grace, Canerows Peer Support and Ward Visitor, Sound Minds said: “At Sound Minds we encourage our service users to express themselves creatively, be that through art, music or writing.
“These poems clearly express people’s reactions to the events from last year and further illustrates our solidarity with our Black service users, staff and volunteers and our support for Black Lives Matter.
“People from BME backgrounds are sadly over-represented in the mental health system.
“All sales from this book will go to our Canerows Peer Support Service, helping those from BME backgrounds overcome their mental health issues and ultimately improve their lives.”