Priority Setting Workshop: Racism & mental health of children & young people: what do we need to know to make a difference?

Research Challenge 3 - Voices, Power & Attitudes

On Thursday 21 February 2021, the Emerging Minds Network held a workshop with those who support children & young people affected by racism to set priorities on how to tackle our Voices, Power & Attitudes Research challenge. We were focusing on the question, ‘Racism and the mental health of children & young people: what do we need to know to make a difference?’

This workshop was hosted by Professor Ann John, who is a professor of Public Health & Psychiatry at Swansea University and a member of the Emerging Minds Network leadership team.

We had over 50 participants including educators, youth workers, mental health practitioners and researchers from a range of organisations, including: Youth Access, Barnardos, Angelou Centre, Bridge for Children, Mind, Young Minds, Partnership for Children, the Centre for Society and Mental Health, Glasgow Calendonian University, University of Nottingham, Liverpool John Moore’s University & Roehampton university amongst others.

We were also very pleased to be joined by young artists Ronni Winter, Conor Powell and Selorm R Q A from our partners Fully Focused productions. They were able to produce a visual response to our discussions and have kindly agreed to share their artwork as part of the session’s findings.

Kadra Abdinasir

Conor Powell

A sad face looks out with words in the background: barriers, rejection, target, bias, support, profiling, exceptional, gaslighting, othering, micro-aggression

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Prof Kamaldeep Bhui

Prof Kamaldeep Bhui is Professor of Psychiatry and an honorary consultant psychiatrist at the University of Oxford but also holds numerous other positions including Director of Synergi Collaborative centre.

Selorm RQA

Two young boys stand holding their hands over their faces. The words around them say THIEF; NOT GOOD ENOUGH; GIVE UP, TARGET; OUT OF PLACE; SPEAK PROPER ENGLISH; REJECTED; THUG; CRIMINAL; POOR; IMPOSTER; FEAR; ALL THE SAME

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Fiyory Ghezae

Fiyory Ghezae is a first year PhD student, She’s also a mental health advocate and qualified personal trainer who focuses on using physical activity and exercise as a tool to help those struggling with their mental health. Fiyory has been undertaking a 3 month internship with the Emerging Minds network. Fiyory has been undertaking a rapid scoping review and here she shares her work in progress:

Ronni Winter

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Globe with arrows around it. There is a face on the globe. The globe has the word HELP over it like a mask
? SELF HARM: *Bullying; *Racism; *Systematic Racism; *Imposter syndrome - I'm now worthy enough - How?

Jawwad Mustafa & Nikki Adebiyi

Nikki Adebiyi & Jawwad Mustafa are advisors to the Emerging Minds Network. Here, they present recommendations from the workshop they facilitated with young people affected by racism on the 16 January 2021.

  • Nikki Adebiyi is a Lived Experience Leader and mental health advocate dedicated to raising awareness about social and systemic barriers to healing from trauma and childhood adversity. She is Founder of the Bounce Black community.

  • Jawwad Mustafa is a mental health activist and works as a freelance social media manager. He’s worked with multiple mental health campaigns, including Our Minds, Our Future and Debating Mental Health.

Florence Ruby

Florence Ruby, Research Associate from the Anna Freud centre presented the findings from a recent round table event they hosted as part of their new Emerging Minds Special Interest Research Group: Crucial conversations on youth mental health and racism  You can join their group to continue the discussions.

Next Steps

We are currently writing up the recommendations of our workshops with both young people and professionals to publish and share. 

We are also preparing to launch our funding call which will invite research teams working across disciplines and sectors to address the priorities identified here.

Do contact us at info@emergingminds.org.uk to get involved or if you have any questions.


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