VIDEO: Battersea mental health charity publishes Black Lives Matter-inspired poems

Volunteers working for a mental health charity based in Battersea have written a collection of poems responding to the killing of George Floyd last year, and reflecting on the wider inequality, discrimination and violence faced by the black community.

The collection by Sound Minds is titled ‘Black Lives Matter: Reflections from the mental health system’ and includes 19 poems written by staff, volunteers and others with experience of the mental health system.

All sales of the book will be donated to Canerows, Sound Minds’ peer support service dedicated to improving mental health care for people from BME backgrounds.

Headed by Mia Morris, Canerows was founded in 2009 and is a user-led service working to improve the lives of people overcoming mental health issues, particularly those from BME backgrounds who are over-represented in the mental health system.

Frances Grace, Canerows peer supporter and ward visitor, said: “At Sound Minds we encourage our service users to express themselves creatively, be that through art, music or writing.

“These poems clearly express people’s reactions to the events from last year and further illustrates our solidarity with our Black service users, staff and volunteers and our support for Black Lives Matter.

“People from BME backgrounds are sadly over-represented in the mental health system.

“All sales from this book will go to our Canerows Peer Support Service, helping those from BME backgrounds overcome their mental health issues and ultimately improve their lives.”

Copies of Black Lives Matter: Reflections from the mental health system can be ordered by contacting Sound Minds here.

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