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Guest blog by Hinda Mohamed, from INTISAAR and SRA Community Researcher

“Some of us feel the rain, while others just get wet”
By Bob Marley

INTISAAR is a new non-profit organisation working to advocate, campaign and raise awareness about mental health. We aspire to terminate the systematic barriers that stop individuals from accessing culturally appropriate mental health services. We work to support individuals before they reach crisis point.

As part of the Social Rights Alliance Community Researchers Project – we found out about the ICESCR article’s stating culturally appropriate mental health services is a right. Keeping in mind that Brent proudly states how diverse the borough is, which is incredible, and yet it has been reported that it doesn’t commission a culturally appropriate mental health service in the borough. According to ONS data from March 2020 to April 2021 Brent came fourth with 28.3% of Covid death. Some records show that in one street in the borough there was at least 70 deaths of covid at the first lockdown.

Poverty, deprivation with poor housing conditions, low-income jobs and most of the resident working in a frontline and health inequalities had a major contribution to the high rate of death in the borough. Residents in the borough continue to struggle without the right mental health service in place - especially when so many people were suffering with stress, grief, money worries as well as the uncertainties of the pandemic and how our normal life as we know has changed. It was clear to us that something had to be done NOW to support people not only in Brent but cross the UK. #DearCovid project was born out of this need.

#DearCovid project aims to unite us through our pain and joy for the last 18 months. The purpose of the project is for people to unite, share, have a conversation but it is also acknowledging how our lives has been altered by the past 18months. This can mean so many different things for people - some of us are still in a stage of limbo, where others it meant for time to re-evaluate, reflect, and make changes in their lives. What unites us is we all need a safe space where we can connect and heal our mind from the trauma, we have experiences. #DearCovid is online platform which we can all use to share our stories in any creative format you feel fits well with you.

To find out how to get involved in project watch this short film:

Together anything is possible. Remember to Connect to HEAL your MIND.

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