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Impact of the arts on black mental health

Healthwatch Lambeth and Black Thrive, a partnership for black wellbeing, hosted a well attended event to share and reflect on best practice in arts and wellbeing and formulate ideas for potential arts programmes that address health inequalities within Lambeth’s Black Minority Ethnic (BME) communities.

Speakers at Waterloo’s Health Foundry, included Councillor Sonia Winifred, Lambeth Council’s Cabinet Member for Equalities and Culture, Gavin Clayton, Director of national arts and wellbeing programme Arts and Minds, Munira Mohamed, Black Culture Archives, Nikki Crane, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity and representatives from a range of arts and wellbeing projects in Lambeth. Attendees ranged from clinicians, service users, council members, arts and wellbeing practitioners, cultural organisations and mental health charities.

Lively group discussions after a panel talk, focussed on ideas for future arts and mental health strategies for African and Caribbean communities, potential barriers to these strategies and ways to overcome them.

Poet Zena Edwards treated the audience to a live performance and the afternoon was captured by graphic illustration Pen Mendonca.

Graham Devlin, who is responsible for developing Lambeth’s Cultural Capital bid, gave an update on the Mayor of London’s potential £2 million funding for arts and cultural programmes. Health and wellbeing is seen as important part of the bid. If you have any ideas or project proposals for a Lambeth Year of Culture – please do share these: https://ourlambeth.london/your-ideas/

A report of the event will be distributed shortly with as well as ideas for next steps.  If you would like a copy or any other information about the event please contact Patrick Vernon, Director of Black Thrive patrick@blackthrive.org.uk or Ali Winstanley, Interim Engagement Manager Healthwatch Lambeth ali.winstanley@healthwatchlambeth.org.uk

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