Mental Health Documentary

By Alexander Darby. Posted on 15th November 2015.

I’m directing a documentary about Oxford students’ mental health. I have just graduated from Oxford, and wanted to make film that would look back on what I feel is a highly underexamined aspect of many students’ times in Oxford. While Oxford is an undeniably marvellous institution, part of its inspiring and long term success is due to the constant demand it places on students for the self-sufficient production of excellence. This pressure is at once enabling and disabling. It stretches you to your best, which necessarily creates a burden of expectation.

One subject I recently interviewed for the film elegantly summed up this conundrum: “I would most likely have experienced mental health issues at any university. But at Oxford those issues became much more pronounced than they would have in any other environment. At the same time, the support I received at Oxford was probably better than what I would have got at anywhere else.” And although the university offers what by all interviewees’ accounts so far is a superb counselling service, I believe there are areas for improvement in how mental health issues should be perceived in student culture.

I knew many friends first hand who suffered from mental health issues while in Oxford, and the vast majority of them felt painfully uncomfortable about opening up on the topic. It was only after a boozy night of dancing, clubbing, and mandatory kebab-vanning, that my friends would break the implicit taboo on the subject. It was then nearly always overwhelmingly true that their issues were ones relatable to any student, and consequently ones that friends could lend a sensitive but at times vital helping hand with.

Since beginning work on the film, I now know from research what I previously knew only from intuition. This description of events is one that is recyclable throughout countless student communities in Oxford. Over and over again, mental health issues are labelled and boxed away as private, difficult to talk about with non-professionals, and, perhaps worst of all, as something you can just ‘push through’.

So why the recurring taboo? We all have mental health. If we’re talking about students, we’re all living together and living through the same things. We can all help each other, and that is what my film – In Our Own World – aims to do.

Please see https:​//www.​indiegogo.​com/projects/student-mental-he​alth-oxford-documentary#/ for more information about the project.

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We’re Jammin’: Chiltern Music Therapy

By Chiltern Music Therapy. Posted on 18th October 2015.

Chiltern Music Therapy are delighted to announce the launch of a new music therapy group in Aylesbury local community. This exciting new project is open to all adults, with mental health issues, or those who seeking emotional or psychological support. This lively and energetic group provides a supportive and fully inclusive environment, with no previous musical experience necessary. The group aims to connect people together through music and singing, and improve the lives of those socially isolated in the community. Attending this group can be extremely valuable to those who suffer from anxiety and a growing lack of self-confidence who are living alone.

Chiltern Music Therapy’s Jamming Group in High Wycombe has been a great success, and this group in Aylesbury is set to follow in its footsteps.

The group is part-subsidised by Prevention Matters, an organisation which brings together the County Council, the NHS, the District Councils, and the voluntary sector in a joined-up approach to helping people stay independent and active. They also provide support to those who are recovering from an illness, and those who are unable to get out and about. You can find out more about Prevention Matters by visiting the link below.

Rebecca Pryce, Director of Services, says, ‘We are delighted to be launching our new community music group, which aims to encourage socialisation, integration and community networking by reaching out to people living in our community who may experience isolation. We hope that the joint collaboration with Prevention Matters will allow these valuable services to benefit the community on a long-term basis.’

The group will take place at the Healthy Living Centre (full address below) every Wednesday at 3pm. The cost to attend is £3.50 each week to fund the excellent facilities and equipment offered. To refer yourself or someone you know, just contact Rebecca on the details below. Chiltern Music Therapy look forward to Jammin’ with you!

Healthy Living Centre,
Unit 1 Walton Court Shopping Centre,
Hannon Road, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire,
HP21 8TJ

rebecca@chilternmusictherapy.co.uk
01442 780541 / 07805 465650
http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/social-care/care-for-adults/prevention-matters/

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Humanities and Science: Mental Health

By The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities. Posted on 28th February 2015.

An interdisciplinary discussion exploring the role of the humanities in mental health.

To watch the video, visit: http://torch.ox.ac.uk/humanities-and-science-mental-health

The discussion begins with a 20 minute presentation by Professor John Geddes (Head of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford), followed by three c. 8 minute responses from:

  • Dr Matthew Broome (Senior Clinical Research Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford), who will discuss his public engagement work and teaching around literature and theatre in neuroscience and psychiatry.
  • Dr Joshua Hordern (Knowledge Exchange Fellow and Associate Professor of Christian Ethics, University of Oxford), who will explore compassion in healthcare and his Knowledge Exchange project with the Royal Society of Medicine Open Section.
  • Dr Emily Troscianko (Knowledge Exchange Fellow, TORCH, and Modern Languages faculty member, University of Oxford), who will talk about her work on the relationship between reading and eating disorders with the charity Beat.

Chair: Dr Edward Harcourt (University Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Oxford)

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Respite houses

By Annabel. Posted on 28th February 2015.

Just before Christmas my sister had to have her beloved dog put down. As she was a service user with a diagnosis of schizophrenia/personality her CPN organised that she stayed in the respite home near Barrow-in-Furness, her nearest city. With special care to help in her grief and company over Christmas, I as her next of kin felt reassured that she was being looked after.  My relationship with her is often difficult when I am not with her. I think part of the illness is there are difficulties with relationships with their nearest and dearest.

The Crisis Bed Project, formerly known as the Crisis House Project was formed quite a few years ago when it was seen that there was a real need for this form of help. Our vision has always been to have a safe environment for people when they are feeling vulnerable. The group meets monthly at Restore in Manzil Way, in Oxford. If you are interested in our project please blog back. We have recently carried out a survey on ‘A need for a respite house’. The findings from the research will be posted on the Oxford Mental Health Forum website.

Annabel.

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Stress-mas… meditation to the rescue!

By Louise. Posted on 23rd December 2014.

Who else has been feeling a bit stressed this past week or two? I feel like there are a million and one things to get done in the run up to Christmas and I am starting to feel a little frazzled. Now, I have admittedly given myself an extra task this year by beginning a course in nutrition in my spare time and the fact that I have my first exam for it this weekend, but on top of that there is a busy day job, upcoming Christmas dinners and parties, planning and doing Christmas shopping (thanks internet for making my life somewhat easier in that respect!), running to keep up my fitness for my 2015 races,finding a new yoga class (more on that to come in future weeks), reading my book club books, and making sure I see friends and family. Don’t get me wrong, I love everything that I do, but I am looking forward to some chill-out time over Christmas where I can indulge in cups of tea and watching films all day long!

But it’s true that Christmas is a stressful time of year. And we try to do all of it, we don’t want to miss out on all the fun. I have admitted before on my blog that I am a huge culprit of trying to do everything. I’m soon going to be pondering my new year intentions for 2015 and I think that really prioritising how and where I want to spend my time is going to be high on the agenda.

In the meantime, I have been trying out a new meditation app to help me find some space in every day, no matter how busy I might be. I have been meditating for a few years now, on and off. I first discovered meditation through my yoga practice, but have also done a course with Mind on mindfulness meditation and attended some Gaia House day retreats. It’s something I always come back to. I have found it hard in the past to establish a daily practice but I think that good apps really help you to carve out that much needed time.

The app I have been trying is called Anamaya. It’s free to download, with the starter meditations included, and then you just pay to unlock the rest of the content (it’s currently £9.99 to unlock it all). Anamaya kindly gifted me the full app for free and so I have been exploring what’s on there.

Anamaya is a sanctuary in London where they do all sorts of lovely things including massage, acupuncture, pilates, dietetics and more. They have now created their own app where you can take a slice of relaxation with you, wherever you go. The meditations are split into different themes or areas so you can pick which one you want to focus on – anger, anxiety, concentration, pain, worry, stress, pregnancy. One area I was intrigued by is the sport area – I can’t wait to give these meditations a listen!

I have started with the general section to get me into the Anamaya style of meditation. The meditations for each theme are split into three levels and there are seven meditations for each level. You progress through level 1 and 2 in order and then you can move on to level 3 or go back into some of level 1 or 2. I have completed level 1 of the general meditations and am just moving on to level 2. Level 1 recordings are all 10 minutes long which is perfect for me – I have an allocated 10 minutes in the morning to meditate (around 6.40am, after my shower so I don’t fall asleep while meditating – a problem I have had in the past!). Level 2 are 15 minutes and level 3 are 20 minutes so I’ll have to see how these go. I might move them into the evening to fit them in more easily.

One of the things I really like about this app is the reminder feature – you can set the app the remind you at a point in the day if you haven’t meditated. I find that if I don’t do it first thing, the day will sweep me away and I’ll completely forget. So this little reminder for days when I don’t manage to sit down on my cushions is super helpful. You can also set ‘mindfulness reminders’ to remind you to check in with yourself and your thoughts. This all helps sow the seeds of meditation in your mind and hopefully makes it become the norm.

There is also a Learning Centre in the app with all sorts of useful information and tips. This can help get you started but also it never hurts to re-read this stuff and keep you inspired in your practice.

So, two weeks in and I am enjoying using the app. I find it helpful to have a tool for my meditation and it keeps me coming back every day. I can feel meditation actually unwinding all my crazy thoughts from the day and bringing me back to myself. I find my breath and for those ten minutes that’s all that matters.

I was gifted the full Anamaya app for free but all views and opinions in this blog are my own. 

Originally published on Louise’s blog at http://louliveswell.blogspot.co.uk/.

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Mental Health Awareness Photography Campaign

By Asia. Posted on 30th September 2014.

Hello All,

I am looking for 6 amazing Oxfordshire residents who would like to become a part of a portrait photography project for the Mental Health Awareness Campaign (running form Nov 2014 -Jan 2015) commissioned by Oxfordshire County Council. I am looking for adult volunteers – men and women (age 18-120!) from ALL ethnic groups, minorities and backgrounds to create a few individual portraits representing various emotions and feelings. This is a beautiful campaign to help promote emotional literacy and wellbeing and to show that we all experience the same feelings and emotions despite the gender, age, religion, disability or ethnicity - that we are all human and equal.

If you, or any of your friends or relatives would be interested (the photographs will be displayed online and in various public spaces in Oxfordshire!) please pass the info on! Again, this is important that I have representatives from all backgrounds and the whole Oxfordshire. And I really mean yourself, your grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, sisters - basically everyone! :)

Please let me know before 5th October 2014 on oxfordshirehealthcampaign@gmail.com and I will send you more details. I would also need a recent photo (it could be taken with your phone, just make sure it isn’t too blurry) and a few words about yourself. The initial conversation and photoshoot will be taken in October (dates to be arranged) in Oxford studio or place of your residence (it all depends of your availability). Travel expenses & refreshments will be paid.

I look forward to hearing from you and if you have any questions please feel free to contact me!

Asia Bochenek
Commissioned Photographer of the Mental Health Awareness Campaign

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A New Letter

By Ashley. Posted on 6th September 2014.

Kathryn and I had a rough day yesterday. Despite my treatments and seeing some days of improvement, my mind is still very unwell at times and can lead me down dark and twisted roads. When the medication I had been given didn’t seem to ease my suffering, I began to say goodbye to Kathryn, in a contorted effort to ease her pain if I died that day. The good thing that came from my distorted thinking was that Kathryn was able to alert my nurse to my intentions and he intervened to keep me safe.

It’s hard to talk about these parts of my mental illness, the parts that hurt Kathryn and my family the most. It’s hard to admit that I’ve drained friendships (especially while I was in university) with my near constant cycling of depression and hypomania. And I’ve scared people more times than I want to admit.

I have a handful of scrap papers torn from an old notebook that I’m holding onto for a future day. I plan on doing something with the words or images on each of them at some point. One image is of a labyrinth that I’d like to try painting onto canvas. Another page contains a list of tattoo ideas.

And tucked in with these pages is a letter to Kathryn. A letter written in the past tense. ‘You were the light of my life… I’m sorry the darkness consumed me.’ A letter intended to ease her pain if I killed myself. I wrote it with the intention of acting on the urge to commit suicide yesterday, and I am glad the nurse intervened and I was given the support I needed to get through that urge, but for some reason I feel like I can’t let go of the letter. It should be crumpled and tossed aside, a discarded scrap of distorted thinking.

Here’s why it’s so hard to throw the letter away. (We’re in the dark down here, so I hope you’re okay with me talking honestly about this.) I hold on to suicide because it gives me hope. Hope that the pain I feel won’t last, that somehow in death I’ll find peace. That no matter what, there’s an escape hatch, a way out if the going gets too rough. A give up button.

This is broken hope, yes. It clings and claws at my heart rather than filling and nourishing me. This is not hope as light, or hope as Life. By buying into this broken hope, by hitting the give up button, I am losing everything I’m trying to save. Suicide threatens to rip me away from the very reason I crave hope – Kathryn, my family and my future.

I showed Kathryn the letter tonight. I told her how it was hard for me to let go of it. I told her how I still want her to know all the things that are in the letter, if I do die one day. And then suddenly I realized I could live the letter out – rewritten, transformed from a suicide note to a love letter. Take it from the past tense into the present. Kathryn, you are the great love of my life! Kathryn, you are my Light in the darkness! I want to shout these words from the rooftop (though the nurses would likely think I need my meds adjusted).

So this is my new letter. Instead of marking the end of something, this letter will mark the beginning of each new moment in my life.

Kathryn,

You are truly the great love of my life! You are my Light in times of darkness. I couldn’t imagine travelling through this world without you by my side. You teach me so much about patience, compassion, giving and strength. I find myself in you.

Here’s to many adventures that lay ahead of us, and all the ways we help each other grow.

Your love always,

Ashley

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Oxford Brookes Union’s mental health campaign

By Jim Robbins. Posted on 1st September 2014.

It’s clear from any glance at newspapers and the internet over the last few days that Mental Health has been at the top of the news agenda.  The sad news of the death of Robin Williams affected many people and led to some very positive sharing of stories and awareness of mental health issues, as well as the inevitable trolling and clickbait articles that accompany any story concerning celebrities.

Here at Brookes Union, we have committed to running a high profile Mental Health awareness campaign this year.  What we would really like to achieve is a shift to remove the stigma that exists around mental health, and make some big steps towards ensuring that Oxford Brookes University is a safe and welcoming place for students, where a range of support networks exist, and mental health isn’t a hidden away issue only dealt with by the Counselling Service.

We will be highlighting a range of key statistics to students to make them aware of the scale of the issue around Mental Health issues. These include:

Every year 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem
Source: Mind

Depression affects one in 12 people in Britain.
Source: Mental Health Foundation

Nine out of 10 people with a mental health problem will experience stigma and discrimination. 
Source: Time to Change

Mental health accounts for 28 per cent of the burden of disease, but gets just 13 per cent of the NHS budget.
Source: Mental Health Foundation

In April this year there were 3,640 fewer nurses and 213 fewer doctors working in mental health compared to 2012.
Source: Health Service Journal investigation

A BBC freedom of information request in December 2013 found mental health trusts in England had their funding cut by more than 2 per cent in real terms since 2011.
Source: BBC

More than half of councils in England have frozen or cut funding for adolescent mental health budgets.
Source: BBC

People with mental health problems are far more dangerous to themselves than to the general public. 90 per cent of people who die through suicide in Britain are experiencing mental health problems or mental health distress.
Source: Time to Change

A 2013 report by the National Union of Students (NUS) indicating that 92% of its survey respondents had experienced a degree of mental distress during their time at university, most commonly a significant period of anxiety or demotivation.
Source: nus.org.uk

The number of children who self-harm has increased by more than 70 per cent in the past two years to record levels, according to new figures.
Source: Independent

By highlighting these statistics, hopefully we will start the process of changing perceptions of mental health.

However, it is clear that we have a long way to go.  Internet forums and comments were full of comments such as “why would a rich, funny guy like Robin Williams do this to his family?” and a blogpost from Alastair Campbell, reprinted in the Guardian, shows that this attitude prevails at the highest levels:

“We have a long, long way to go. I met the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, last year. We talked about depression and he said he found it really hard to understand “why someone like you, with the life you have, would have depression”. I was, I admit, quite shocked. He was reflecting an opinion that many hold, and this is the fight – to understand that depression has nothing to do with how popular or famous, unpopular or unknown, you are. It just is. Like cancer is. Like asthma is. Like diabetes is. Some people get it, some people don’t. It is a truly horrible illness, and must be viewed and treated as such.”

Campaign Priorities

Peer Support

We will be working to set up peer-support groups to widen awareness of issues and try to deal with non-immediate or serious issues that students have.  Students who have serious or immediate issues will be referred to the appropriate help and support that they need, but by having peer-sessions working with students as issues start to arise will hopefully prevent them from getting developing and help to free up the University support systems to be dealing with more serious cases.

Lobbying

We will be lobbying the University to ensure that the range of support that the University provides is appropriate and sufficient to meet the rising demand of the student population.

Awareness-Raising

We will be trying to raise awareness of issues surrounding Mental Health in a variety of ways and will be targeting events at specific times of the year.  Anxiety is often associated with exams, but can also be triggered by other academic pressures, holiday times, accommodation issues and many other triggers.

Techniques

We hope that by making people more aware of mental health issues and by sharing proven techniques to lower anxiety, we can help students to keep stress to a minimum whilst at University.  These will include having talks from people who have developed successful techniques and the very popular puppy-stroking sessions!

If you have any experiences to share with us or questions about the campaign, please get in touch…

You can e-mail me at jrobbins@brookes.ac.uk or tweet me @BrookesUnionJim or even just pop into Brookes Union to discuss what we are doing and find out the latest.

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Mental Health Awareness Week: Anxiety

By Louise. Posted on 16th May 2014.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. This is a subject and cause that is close to my heart. And in particular, the theme of this year’s week, anxiety. It’s so important to be aware of how anxiety can affect you, or your friends and family. It’s even more important not to be ashamed of feeling anxious, particularly extreme anxiety, like panic attacks. I know first-hand how hard it is to deal with panic and in the name of breaking the taboo and not being ashamed, I am posting a little of my experiences during MHA Week 2014. I hope you find this either interesting or helpful – I know that what helped me was hearing of others going through the same thing and how they overcame it. So if you know someone who this post might help, please do forward it on to them!

Panic affected me before I knew it did. When I worked in London about six years ago, I used to have moments where I was frozen to my desk and really thought that if I got up I would faint. At the time I thought I was just exhausted from commuting. I now realise this was most likely panic.

My first real panic attack was in 2011. Completely out of the blue, in a lecture theatre at a work talk. I was completely fine until the lecture started and then I felt this overwhelming feeling of anxiety like a wall hitting me. I felt shaky, hot, my palms were sweating. I felt dizzy and then my eyes started to glaze over and everything went blurry. I HAD to get out. I told my friend I felt ill and then moved as fast as I could out of that place. As soon as I was out of the theatre, I felt relief. I felt normal again, could breathe properly. I sat on a bench in the foyer and waited for the talk to end. I felt stupid now. But I was also wondering what WAS that? I must have not eaten enough and was light-headed, I told myself.

I tried to move on from that episode but panic wasn’t done with me yet. For the next few months panic would strike all over the place. In meetings, in cafés at lunch with friends, on trains, in theatres, at weddings. It was truly and utterly horrible. I became fearful of going out, petrified of getting on a train, and avoided the Tube completely when in London. I was constantly planning my day to avoid situations I knew would trigger panic. I dreaded meetings and would always try to sit near to the door in case I needed to run out. I would be planning my escape route in my head instead of listening to the meeting or talk. I didn’t know how on earth to get over this, or even where to start.

I self-referred to Talking Space in Oxford and was put on the waiting list for CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy). In the meantime, I bought two books that I would definitely recommend to anyone experiencing panic: ‘Understanding Panic Attacks’ by Dr Roger Baker and ‘Panic Attacks’ by Christine Ingham. One by a doctor and one by a sufferer. Both were reassuring. It really helps to properly understand what is going on in your body during a panic attack. You fear it less if you know what’s going on. For example why your hands and feet have gone numb or tingly (because all the blood is rushing to your thumping heart!).

Another thing that without a doubt helped me during this bad patch was talking to family and friends. Admitting what I was dealing with meant that I was less scared and didn’t try to cover it up all the time. I even discovered that a good friend of mine was going through the same thing at the same time – she became my rock of support and I hope I was for her too. It felt so good to have someone just know exactly what you were talking about.

After about a month or two on the waiting list, I was able to see a therapist for one-to-one CBT and I also attended a group course on anxiety run by Oxfordshire Mind. Slowly, the panic became less. It was still there, still lurking, but it didn’t affect me all day every day.

After CBT, I discovered mindfulness. I think CBT works to a point but I have to admit that it hasn’t become my everyday life and it was hard to form the new habits. CBT helps you to realise that there are other choices in the way you see things and I am thankful for that training. With mindfulness though comes a new focus. You find your breath within and focus on bringing your attention to the rising and falling. This is always with you and if I ever feel panicky now I try to just focus on my inhale and exhale. I was lucky enough to get onto a mindfulness course, again run by Oxfordshire Mind. I had to wait six months but it was well worth the wait. I also can’t recommend enough the book ‘Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world’ by Mark Williams and Danny Penman.

I don’t think panic is completely gone but it’s been a while since I felt those awful, gut-wrenching sensations. I am scared that panic attacks will return one day but I know far much more about them now so I hope that I’ll be better equipped to deal with them. I’m also thankful in a weird way as I have discovered so much more about myself and learnt some wonderful things – discovering meditation and yoga has come out of my experiences with anxiety, and I can’t imagine life without either now!

If you’re dealing with panic at the moment, I reassure you that it will be ok. It’s a horrible feeling but my advice would be a) to talk to someone/people you trust about what’s going on, b) talk to your doctor and find out if there is a local Mind service or NHS CBT offering, c) read all the books and websites you can on panic and understanding what is happening in your body – as I said, it’s far less scary when you can explain the sensations and why they are happening. There is a wealth of information online – see the Mental Health Foundation website. I also help out with a local website, Oxford Mental Health Forum that has some great resources and information. You’re definitely not alone if you’re suffering from panic or anxiety!

Visit Louise’s blog at: http://louliveswell.blogspot.co.uk/.

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Introducing HIP-HOP-PSYCH…

Posted on 14th May 2014.

How did the idea for HIP-HOP-PSYCHTM come about?

Dr Akeem Sule and myself, Dr Becky Inkster, are the Co-Founders of HIP-HOP-PSYCHTM, which is a pioneering joint venture using hip-hop music and culture as a vehicle for raising awareness and understanding mental health, well-being and common psychiatric illnesses.

Funnily enough, the vision for HIP HOP PSYCH all started in Oxford several years ago in the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford University. Myself and Dr Sule were both attending a spontaneous hip-hop lecture given by the legendary Blastmaster KRS-ONE at Christ Church. We recognised each other from the Department of Psychiatry and discovered our shared passion for hip-hop. We generated the innovative idea to merge hip-hop music and culture with psychiatry and mental health. Our careers took us in different directions, but in 2012 we were re-united at the University of Cambridge. Dr Sule is a Consultant Psychiatrist working at the South Essex Partnership Trust and is also an Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, UK. As for myself, Dr Becky Inkster, I am a Clinical Neuroscientist in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, UK (with an undergraduate degree in psychology and later specialising in imaging genetics and epidemiology).

Most recently I have become fascinated by the idea of using youth language and culture to drive mental health analyses and understanding of mental health triggers and resiliency using social media in relation to neuroscience techniques such as genetics and MRI. The young mind is full of potential and inspiration that needs to be shared to help drive research forward in the right direction! Hip-hop offers so much to young people and it can help medical experts to understand youth culture and break down barriers!

With our expansive and collective skill sets in psychiatry and neuroscience as well as our deep and genuine passion and strong awareness for hip-hop culture HIP-HOP-PSYCHTM merges these worlds together to help engage and remove stigma about mental health. In addition to public health engagement we also lecture to medical students to help recruitment. We work with medics, service users, charities, rappers, you name it!

What is the vision for HIP-HOP-PSYCHTM?

Hip-hop culture is a powerful vehicle for raising awareness about mental health. It is rich with references to psychiatric illnesses that have not been explored, dissected and documented until now. We are the interface that links hip hop with mental health. Our medical credibility and authentic passion for hip-hop enables us to bridge this gap. We understand the culture and speak the language. We want to share our knowledge in order to cultivate awareness and remove stigma surrounding mental health and hip-hop.

What events/venues have you previously performed at?

We perform anywhere! From nightclubs and pubs to lecture halls and student societies! We want our messages to reach as many people as possible. We have been invited by the Dean at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London and also the Wellcome Trust Research Funding Advisor for Medical History and so many others. We are now gearing up to work with patients to record their own hip-hop mental health album and work with charities to try and open a new School of Hip-Hop and all sorts of other activities including Radio. We have been so fortunate to get feedback from a hugely wide range of people, some listed below:

Some of our latest feedback:

“My discussion with you [HIP HOP PSYCHTM] was one of the most refreshing discussions I have had in ages. The fact that you are focussing on a real world problem and using your understanding of that to define the right solution is absolutely the correct approach.” – Technology Manager & MBA, Cambridge, 27th January 2014.

“I think HIP HOP PSYCHTM is an exciting and innovative venture that bridges youth culture with the medical community. The model is based on empowerment and self-knowledge, which puts the power back in the individuals’ hands to take responsibility of their life and health. Hearing about some of the stories and reactions attendees of the programme have had gave me goosebumps (in a good way!), as it illustrated the potential impact that this approach can have for the future of medicine and preventative strategies.” – Student, University of Cambridge, 25th January 2014.

“It was great seeing you guys in action and getting an introduction to HIP HOP PSYCHTM. I can’t remember an event I’ve done with Key Changes that has provoked as much interest and debate amongst our service users (and staff)! Would be great to maintain a link and collaborate on future events – keep me posted.” – Key Changes, 4th December 2013.

“Hip Hop’s frank portrayal of urban life often earns it a bad rap in the press, but two mental health professionals have found that the raw and honest lyrics of many Hip Hop artists are a powerful vehicle to explore and raise awareness of psychiatric illnesses..” – Just 4 Funk Productions, Exeter, 11th November 2013.

Fantastic! So when will HIP-HOP-PSYCHTM be coming to Oxford?

We will be performing in Oxford THIS COMING FRIDAY on the 16th May doors open at 7pm at Wadham College in the Moser Theatre. More information can be found here on how to attend:

http://feest-uk.com/Oxford-ACS-Presents-Hip-Hop-Psych-05-16

https://plus.google.com/101404185184288839021/about?gl=uk&hl=en

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