Yesterday, the Community Development Team hosted a “Young People’s Mental Health Consultation Event” with the local mental health charity Jamila’s Legacy.
The event, facilitated by Jamila’s Legacy founder and long-running mental health advocate Rehana Sidat alongside psychotherapist and counsellor Sheereen Sidat, brought together approximately a dozen young people between the ages of twelve and twenty to explore and discuss their feelings regarding the topic of mental health.
After a brief opening presentation by Rehana and Sheereen, the young people were split into two groups to pursue open conversations on questions such as what mental health means to them, the importance of self-care, their experiences of mental health services, societal stigma, and more. From motivation to identity, to social media, gender, and a sense of belonging, the young people attending the consultation had no shortage of personal thoughts and perspectives on these difficult but vital questions.
Rehana Sidat founded Jamila’s Legacy in 2015, naming the charity after a family friend who died after a long struggle with poor mental health.
Neetu Squire, the Head of Community Development at Leicestershire Cares, proposed that Rehana and Sheereen utilise the Leicestershire Cares building to deliver the consultation workshop in a safe place. We were enthusiastic to support an event that could meet the needs of young people in our community facing difficulties with their mental health and wellbeing.
This is the second time in a matter of months that the Community Development Team has partnered with Jamila’s Legacy to promote the cause of mental health advocacy. In May of this year, the Community Development Team began hosting a six-week “Art 4 Mental Wellbeing” course that provided a space where attendees could use painting and crafts for therapeutic purposes, free of charge.
Attendees found the painting and crafts workshops to be a hugely valuable experience that allowed them to take pride in accomplishing new things and share their feelings and experiences, providing them with a sense of connection and recognition.
It was a great privilege to partner once again with Jamila’s Legacy and offer them a space to deliver a workshop event. Young people’s mental health is an extremely important issue. But it is also fraught with misconceptions and stigma, and giving young people an opportunity to have their voices heard offers a great corrective to these problems. We’re looking forward to supporting Jamila’s Legacy and other community groups working on mental health advocacy on many future occasions!Neetu Squire, Head of Community Development
At the conclusion of yesterday’s consultation event, Rehana and Sheereen played for the young people two short videos, one of which gave an evocative and profound portrayal of the way in struggles with mental health affect everyone throughout their lives. As Rehana noted in her opening presentation, data shows that a young person is referred to the NHS mental health services every 30 seconds.
It is for this reason that the Community Development Team are proud to support groups such as Jamila’s Legacy, that work to address the challenges faced by our communities in managing mental health and wellbeing. We are looking forward to establishing and strengthening further our partnerships with community groups across the city and county to create a safe and inclusive environment where no one is left behind.
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