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African Caribbean community challenge mental health stigma at Stratford Circus

PUBLISHED: 13:58 28 January 2013 | UPDATED: 15:52 29 January 2013

Julia Watson, Brian Davidson and Esra Eristhee had a great time at the Stereo-Hype festival. Picture: Ron Lamb

Julia Watson, Brian Davidson and Esra Eristhee had a great time at the Stereo-Hype festival. Picture: Ron Lamb

Archant

Over 500 people attended a two-day festival aiming to challenge stereotypes about mental illness in the African and Caribbean communities.

The West Indian Living Room set on display at the Stereo-Hype festival. Picture: Ron LambThe West Indian Living Room set on display at the Stereo-Hype festival. Picture: Ron Lamb

Stereo-Hype Festival was held at Stratford Circus on Friday and Saturday supported by 50 local volunteers, many of whom had prior experience of mental health problems.

Hosted by anti-stigma campaign Time to Change and east London mental health programme Mellow, sportsmen Paul Canoville - Chelsea’s first black player - and boxing champion Herol ‘Bomber’ Graham, gave interviews in a section called Black Men on the Couch.

Newham-based soul singer Crystal King provided the entertainment with young actors from NewVIc College alonside poets and an Ethiopian folk singer.

The festival also featured the West Indian Front Room installation, curated by Dr Michael McMillan to experience attitudes and life in a Caribbean home in the 1960s and 70s.

Sandra Griffiths, director of Mellow, said: “I have been bowled over by the incredible response from local people who attended. Many who attended on Friday came back on Saturday with a friend or family member.

“The Stereo-Hype Festival with its ‘army’ of volunteers enabled the community to have a conversation about mental illness and helped to shift negative stereotypical views.”


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