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Here's what happened when @romankemp got unsuspecting shoppers talking about their mental health, all while we turned their thoughts in to a stylish yet impractically large mural in the middle of Westfield ✌️ At Comic Relief we're committed to both supporting organisations that are improving access to mental health services, and to empowering people to open up and speak out about their mental health, free from stigma and discrimination. From @calmzone to @timetochangecampaign we help fund campaigns and charities around the world that are working to tackle mental health.
Let us know how you make space to talk about mental health in the comments below, and to find out more about what we do around mental health, just tap the link in our bio.
“If I speak my mind, will you listen?”
We’re supporting the brilliant initiative @gospeakyourmind which is bringing together mental health activists from around the world to highlight that there is no health without mental health.
At the World Health Assembly @who we met @koredebello , an amazing young singer and mental health advocate helping to encourage governments and all of us to #SpeakYourMind 🗣 with powerful poems like this.
Here’s just a taste of what happened today when @romankemp took to Westfield in Stratford to help us create a big beautiful mural for #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek in our fight against stigma and to start conversations around mental health.
Chatting to shoppers and you lot on Instagram as to how we can make space to look after our mental health, @_jonnyglover worked to turned these thoughts and tips in to a massive work of art! 🎨
Check out our story now for more of the action 🙌
Abu loves football ⚽️ His grandad even played for the Sierra Leone national team. But despite his talent and love of it, Abu’s found it hard to focus on the sport because he suffers from random blackouts.
On the pitch, at school, even walking down the street. Abu wakes up confused and unclear as to what’s happened. While frightening for Abu himself, this has also had wider implications on his mental state and his family life.
It turns out that Abu has epilepsy, but with a lack of education on conditions such as this in their community, some people are scared by it and people like Abu can face a lot of stigma. Traditional healers suggested that his blackouts were as a result of being possessed by the devil and this fear even caused his parents to separate.
But then Abu met a social worker from Conforti - an organisation that receives funds from Comic Relief. They operate in seven communities in Sierra Leone working to improve the understanding of mental illnesses and care for people battling stigma and discrimination based on mental health.
Abu now understands his blackouts are caused by epilepsy, nothing more, and a counsellor helps him to cope with his worries and to feel more confident. Conforti are helping his family to understand this too, and Abu now feels hopeful that he and his mum will be able to get their lives back on track.
Matthew remembers the day that his brother Daniel took his own life; he was only 10 years old and his brother was 19.
Shortly after Dan’s funeral, Matthew started @ifucareshare to get more men talking about mental health and to prevent suicide, and in 2011 it became a registered charity. If U Care Share recently joined forces with the Campaign Against Living Miserably (@calmzone ), who provide support to young men in crisis with funds raised by Comic Relief.
But despite all of his hard work campaigning, even Matthew himself found it difficult to open up about how his brother’s death affected him, and found himself hiding his emotions and how he truly felt - “I hadn’t allowed myself to feel what I needed to feel”.
With over 70% of suicides in the UK being men, it is an ongoing effort for CALM, Matthew and other organisations to try to change the discussion around men’s mental health, combatting stigma and encouraging more men to recognise and talk about their problems.
In October 2018, CALM and Matthew’s joint campaigning even helped lead the Prime Minister to appoint Jackie Doyle-Price as the first Minister for Suicide Prevention.
If you want to talk to someone, please call any of the following services which are there to help:
@samaritanscharity 📞 116 123
@calmzone 📞 0800 585858
@mindcharity 📞 0300 123 3393 (text line: 86463)
@giveusashoutinsta 📱 85258 (text line)
What’s the tea on mental health?! Well, global mental health is one of our core issues and we are committed to supporting organisations that are improving access to mental health support.
But we also want to empower people to speak out about their mental health, free from stigma and discrimination, and shout out people who are also moving along these conversations - like artist @gemmacorrell who does so brilliantly and with a laugh. Who relates to these feelings of anxie-tea?
Hit the link in our bio to find out more about how we’re tackling mental health. 💭
“I want to be the voice of the voiceless, reporting issues that are hidden in our community, showing people what it is really like" 🗣
Today is #WorldMalariaDay and we’re sharing inspiring stories of the progress being made by people that are tackling the disease in their communities 👊
Mohammed is a young man passionate about fighting malaria in Sierra Leone, where the disease is still the leading cause of death. Having had malaria himself, and having lived in a community which acts as a breeding ground for the parasite, Mohammed is determined to keep people better informed about the disease. 🦟
On Our Radar - a project supported by the Comic Relief and GSK partnership - trains people like Mohammed to become citizen journalists, to find and share powerful stories about how malaria affects their and others’ lives, in the hopes of driving rates of malaria down for good. 📉
Mkola is a mum of nine and grandmother of five, and malaria used to be a constant blight on her family, losing both an unborn child and a grandchild as a result of the disease.
We first met Mkola in 2016 when she explained that one of the biggest problems with the malaria was simply a lack of knowledge around it, with many people thinking traditional healers were best placed to treat it.
Since then, Mkola has seen great improvements in her community - not only in the amount of cases of the disease but also in attitudes towards preventing it and seeking help - thanks to Tanzania Communications and Development Centre (TCDC), a project funded by the Comic Relief and @gsk partnership. 🙌
Leonadi’s first-born baby became seriously ill and was taken to a traditional healer who told him the child was bewitched. By the time anyone realised that it was actually severe malaria, it was too late. His son’s death changed Leonadi’s life and drove him to dedicate it to helping combat malaria.
Having been trained by Tanzania Communication and Development Centre (TCDC) - a project supported by the Comic Relief and @gsk partnership - Leonadi now volunteers as a Community Change Agent, teaching families at the local health clinic and visiting small businesses to pass on his knowledge.
He says this has had a huge impact, with most people in his community previously having little knowledge of what malaria is, how they got it or how best to get treated. Now people are embracing the bed net as a preventative measure and have an understanding of how to take malaria medicine. With many lives being saved as a result, both Leonadi and his family are proud of his efforts in tackling the disease. 🧡
Tabu is a chairwoman of a community savings group in Kigoma, Western Tanzania. The group she runs helps the community with financial support and together they also use their influence to fight malaria - a battle she says they are now winning. 🙌
The group does this through education, with thanks to the Tanzania Communications and Development Centre (TCDC), which receives money through the Comic Relief and @gsk partnership.
TCDC use the funding to train volunteer health workers, called Community Change Agents, in malaria education. They then visit groups like Tabu’s to equip them with the knowledge to protect themselves and to know what to do if they experience symptoms.