Camden is one of the most vibrant and diverse areas of London with world renowned markets, tourist attractions, popular culture as well as a hospitable and welcoming environment on the gateway to Europe. However it is also home to some of the most socially deprived communities in the United Kingdom with health inequalities in the borough having a significant impact on well-being, none more so than in the area of mental health.
Voluntary Action Camden (VAC) has a long track record of successfully engaging BAME communities in Camden to identify mental health need, supporting communities to improve mental well being, challenge stigma and increase influence over service planning. VAC has recruited and trained community members as volunteer Community Mental Health Champions and Workplace Mental Health Champions. We have worked towards raising cultural awareness across and within communities as well as promoting an understanding of the influences of faith.
VAC has co-produced simple and accessible tools enabling conversations about mental health to take place in a culturally specific non-threatening and non-stigmatising way for Irish, Bangladeshi and Cantonese communities.
Cultural Advocacy Project (CAP) is a joint venture between Voluntary Action Camden and Mind in Camden. The CAP works in partnership with community organisations to develop good practice in understanding, supporting and actively engaging with users that may be experiencing mental illness.
The CAP works with different BAME communities through the organisations they attend and utilise, to reduce the sense of isolation they feel; raise awareness of mental health and well-being from a cultural perspective; enable individuals to access services and support in a timely way.
We have set up Peer Support Groups for members of the community to connect with people from their cultural background who have similar experiences. These free supportive networks are warm and encouraging spaces, enabling members to be around like minded people and safely ask questions, learn skills and share experiences. Our partners, with the training we will provide, will also provide 1-1 help and support to their users who need it.
Contact: Zubair Matin
Community Liaison Worker
Cultural Advocacy Project
Tel.No. 020 7284 6550