When prejudice commands, reason is silent.”

“My disability is that I cannot use my legs. My handicap is your negative perception of that disability, and thus of me.”

Eradicating FGM: Don't cut your daughters' bodies

Diversity Living Services (DLS) is running monthly participatory forums with Enfield refugee and migrant women and girls and campaigners to discuss and explore the issues of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

This project aims to:

· -Increase knowledge and awareness of the risks and negative impacts FGM on women and girls

· -Agree and adopt strategic actions and approaches from the community about ways to fight against FGM

The forums will cover a range of FGM related topics including health, access to services and the law in relation to FGM, safeguarding Children, etc.

Women and girls suffering from FGM or at risk of FGM will have access to face-to-face advice sessions including referral to appropriate treatment and counselling services.

If you are worried about someone who is at risk of FGM or has had FGM, join our workshops or call us on 02088036161 for confidential advice.

When and how to attend:

The January 2017 forum will take place on 09/01/2017 from 11 am to 1pm. Then from February 2017, the forums will take place on every first Monday of each month from 11 am-1pm.

If you plan to attend the worships, please book your place by calling 02088036161 or email eradicatefgm@diversityliving.org

Venue:

Edmonton Shopping centre

First Floor

54-56 The Market Square

Edmonton Green

London N9 0TZ

Saturday, 25 October 2014

We Need to Tackle Mental Health Stigma in African and Caribbean Communities

Mental health problems are extremely common across society, with one in four of us experiencing them in any year. Despite being so common, people from all communities will still experience discriminatory attitudes and behaviours that can prevent people from speaking out, seeking support and playing full and active roles in our communities. The impact of mental health stigma and discrimination will vary between communities as mental health has a cultural context that affects the way communities talk about the subject and engage with people who have mental health problems. In some cultures depression, for example, doesn't exist and in others an experience of a mental health problem can be attached to a sense of shame.
For the African and Caribbean communities a key issue is the overrepresentation of young African and Caribbean men in mental health services. Misconceptions and stereotypes have led to a perception that this group is more likely to pose a risk of violent behaviour and, as a result, they are more likely to be treated as inpatients and sectioned when compared to other groups. It is well documented that this has led to a fear of talking about mental health issues more openly and a fear of using mental health services. Research by the Race Equality Foundation (2011) also highlighted fears that discrimination against Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) communities and migrant service users will increase in the austerity climate and whilst commissioning arrangements change.
The African and Caribbean community is a priority audience for the Time to Changecampaign, and having undertaken some initial work we were keen to secure more resources to pilot new approaches and scale up effective existing projects but with a more tailored focus on this specific audience.
A funding boost from the Big Lottery Fund will allow us to develop a new strand of our programme with an integrated range of projects co-produced and delivered with the African and Caribbean community. Across all of this work we will be supporting and training more African and Caribbean people with mental health problems to deliver activity and lead change within communities.
There will be a tailored social marketing campaign designed with people from the community to ensure it resonates and has the desired impact. We plan to work with African and Caribbean community partners to run a series of events across the country that bring audiences with and without mental health problems into direct social contact. This is an effective evidence-based approach to improving public attitudes..
Some of these events will follow a similar model to the Stereo-Hype event which was a partnership with an East London mental health service provider, and community group called Mellow. The two day festival celebrated the strengths and achievements of African and Caribbean people living with mental health problems. Through its mix of music, film, drama and comedy it attracted 600 visitors, many of whom may not normally engage with the subject of mental health but who, through attending the event, learnt more about how mental health problems can affect members of their community and how to support someone experiencing a mental illness.
We also hope to be able to build on a recent roundtable discussion with leaders and senior members of Black Majority Churches who were keen to support a new campaign.
The Big Lottery Funding will also allow us to pilot a very new unique project to research, test and evaluate an intervention aimed at improving the attitudes and behaviour of 900 staff responding to young African Caribbean men using services in one location. Key factors for success will be to recruit and support 300 young African and Caribbean men with experience of mental health problems to help design and deliver activity. We also hope that as well as benefiting from the project, the engagement of staff from primary care, mental health services and the police will enable us to use their insights when designing the activity..
Evaluation of all projects will aim to evidence the impact as well as provide wider learning for future work. With our existing programme funding from the Department of Health and Comic Relief we have commissioned a new national survey to measure the levels of discrimination experienced by people from Black and Minority Ethnic communities using mental health services across England. This will be the largest survey of its kind, and will also provide valuable data and information to guide our work and that of others. The new grant from the Big Lottery Fund will pay for a follow-up survey in 2015 to measure any changes two years later. By the end of March 2015, we will have reached 495,000 people from the African and Caribbean community.
Our vision is of a society where no one should experience discrimination on the grounds of their mental health and this vital funding will help us to achieve this by developing new partnerships with the African and Caribbean communities. Visit theTime to Change website to find out more about our work with Black and Minority Ethnic groups.
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/sue-baker/mental-health-stigma-in-african-caribbean_b_3364647.html

Our Vision and Services

Our vision is of a society where no one should experience discrimination on the grounds of their mental health.

Mental health problems are extremely common across society, with one in four of us experiencing them in any year. Despite being so common, people from all communities will still experience discriminatory attitudes and behaviours that can prevent people from speaking out, seeking support and playing full and active roles in our communities. The impact of mental health stigma and discrimination will vary between communities as mental health has a cultural context that affects the way communities talk about the subject and engage with people who have mental health problems. In some cultures depression, for example, doesn't exist and in others an experience of a mental health problem can be attached to a sense of shame.

For the African and Caribbean communities a key issue is the overrepresentation of young African and Caribbean men in mental health services. Misconceptions and stereotypes have led to a perception that this group is more likely to pose a risk of violent behaviour and, as a result, they are more likely to be treated as inpatients and sectioned when compared to other groups. It is well documented that this has led to a fear of talking about mental health issues more openly and a fear of using mental health services. Research by the Race Equality Foundation (2011) also highlighted fears that discrimination against Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) communities and migrant service users will increase in the austerity climate and whilst commissioning arrangements change.

Our Services

· Provide information, advice, advocacy

· Represent diversity communities in Health Care services, policies and strategies

· Organise training in health and social care in collaboration with local colleges

· Provide human resources ( including interpreters) who are suitable to the diversity communities especially to break language and cultural barriers

· Provides domiciliary care and support

· Provide services such specialised support for people with mental health needs, including people who suffer from short-term memory problems, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

· Provide visits to elderly people and help them with outings and home services

· Participate in local authority and NHS consultations , research events and programmes to voice the needs of diversity communities.

· Increase access to services and rights for disadvantaged people and the most vulnerable of our society

· Help and support unemployed people to look for work, including training and job preparation

· Provide legal advice in a range of issues from on Immigration and Asylum , welfare benefits, housing, health, education, community care, and training, employment, etc.

· Provide advice and guidance, information and practical help so that our service users can access opportunities they are entitled to

· Organise training and other community learning opportunities that provide new skills, increase confidence and motivation

· Support our service users to overcome barriers to learning, employment and training

· Provide support for young people with their education, training, confidence building, employment and social needs.

Objectives of our Diversity Living Programme:

· To promote the inclusion and participation of diversity communities* in integrated care.

· To inform policy, locally and nationally, and assisting in the formulation of effective policies, strategies and good practices in integrated care in order to contribute to improved health outcomes for the people from the diversity communities (e.g. Black and minority ethnic communities) and to ensure health services are able to meet their specific needs.

· To improve the quality of life for diversity people with disability, mental health problems and their families and carers through integrated care by providing inclusive advocacy and information.

· To provide service that enable diversity groups and individuals with disability /elderly and their carers to make the right choice for themselves and have an influence on decisions made about their future.

· To promote the rights of diversity people with disability, their families and carers and make sure their rights are safe and protected.

· To promoting access to information regarding healthcare issues and to raise awareness of the needs of diversity disabled children, young people, older people and their families.

· To promote the rights of older and disabled diversity people, helping them overcome and enable them to participate in decisions about their future

· To provide support and information to those suffering the isolation and loneliness that can be associated with disability and old age

· To fight against mental health stigma in refugee, black and minority ethnic communities and ensure no one should experience discrimination on the grounds of their mental health or disability.

*Diversity communities are older people, disabled people, Black, Asian, refugees, migrants, asylum seekers and other ethnic minorities.