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Working with young Black men

Evidence shows that Black men are far more likely than others to be diagnosed with severe mental health problems and are also far more likely to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act. However, up until 11 years old, Black boys don't have poorer mental health than others of their age.

There are multiple reasons for this including stigma, cultural barriers, and systemic discrimination, all of which are more directly experienced by Black boys and young Black men as they get older.

That’s why the work we do with young Black men is specifically focused around prevention. We want to avoid people becoming so unwell they need to access services. We focus on building personal resilience, enabling people to take care of their mental health and wellbeing.

Read more below about our 300 Voices and Up My Street projects, as well as our current programme, which involves working with local Minds to build on both of these. You can also find out more by getting in touch with the Equality Improvement team at [email protected].

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Young Black men programme

In March 2019, Mind launched a brand new programme working with young Black men. The three year programme works with 11 to 30 year olds by offering a range of tailored local services working specifically with young Black men.

The aim of the programme is to increase understanding of mental health problems, reduce the stigma surrounding them and learn about how and where to seek help when you need it.

The programme has been guided by a steering group of nine young Black men, who use their insights and experience to guide the programme.

We are working with five local Minds to deliver this programme: Coventry and Warwickshire Mind, Lambeth and Southwark Mind, City, Hackney and Waltham Forest Mind, Mind in Haringey and Leeds Mind.

'Up My Street' project

In 2016 Mind ran the 'Up My Street' project, which aimed to support young African Caribbean men of around 15 to 25 years-old to build their mental health resilience and help them talk to each other and their families.

We implemented a 'street-therapy' approach, going out to talk with young people on the street, or in a youth centre. This approach enabled young people to get the support they needed in a flexible and informal way. We are proud to have worked with The Integrate Movement, the Centre for Mental Health and First Class Legacy.

Watch the video below to find out more about the project or download the project report.

The best in me...thanks to you


This video shares the experiences of one of the staff that worked on the project and one of the young people who benefitted from it

Download the project report to find out more about the impact of the project. 

Download report

"I now feel more in control, even when I'm going through a rough patch"

300 Voices - Legacy

300 Voices ran from 2013-2016, as a partnership between Time to Change and three Mental Health NHS Foundation Trusts. This work focused on reducing the stigma and discrimination that can exist in mental health hospitals and the police. It also looked at developing the capacity of young Black men to take greater control of their mental health.

The project brought together staff from a range of services, people with personal experiences of mental health problems and community representatives to constructively explore how to improve young Black men’s experience of mental health support. Download the toolkit created from this project, which provides the practical tools necessary to use elsewhere.

Download the toolkit

Mind ambassador Nicholas Pinnock was also involved in the project.

"I’ve learnt not to be ashamed of my mental health problems"

Got a question?

Have a question that is not answered here or would like to find out more about something? Get in touch with our Equality Improvement team at [email protected]. You can also find out more about our other equality and human rights work.

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