Artist’s Talk at SHARP exhibition space in Brixton

Hi all,

Please note this talk by the artist Jose Gomez on his story &  work exhibited at the SHARP gallery on  14th May. Please contact Mary Salome, curator  or Anna Croucher, occupational therapist for further information and also take a look at these 2 articles:

Artist’s Talk

“Colores, dame colores”

Jose Gomez

1-3 pm Wednesday 14th May 2014

At the SHARP Team

308-312 Brixton Road


Tel: 020 3228 7050

More details here: Artist talk 14th May @ SHARP, Brixton

Mary Salome


SHARP : The Social, Hope and Recovery Project (SHARP) provides community-based care and treatment for people, aged 18-65, with severe mental illness including psychosis

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
SHARP  308-312 Brixton Road | London | SW9 6AA


Will you ask the NHS to value mental health?

We’re a member of the We Need To Talk coalition, a group of charities, professional organisations, Royal Colleges and service providers who believe in the effectiveness of psychological therapies.Today we published We still need to talk, a report which tells us that a third of people with the most severe mental illness are not offered talking therapy by the NHS. Yet evidence shows that when people do get help, it improves their health and helps make recovery possible – it can also help prevent people from developing psychosis in the first place.

Take action now – tell the NHS how important our mental health is

One in five people with severe mental illness are waiting more than a year to get psychological therapies. We would rightly never accept this state of affairs for people with physical health problems – it should be no different for people with mental illness.

We want the NHS to offer a full range of evidence-based psychological therapies to anyone who needs it within 28 days of anyone requesting a referral.

Our brilliant colleagues at Mind are putting pressure on MPs and Government Ministers. But David Nicholson, the Chief Executive of the NHS, also has a crucial role to play in making this happen. The NHS has already agreed to introduce waiting times but we’re really worried it isn’t happening quickly enough. If we collectively act we have a much greater chance of making this change happen.

Will you ask David Nicholson to lead the way so that people with severe mental illness have access to the help they need, when they need it? By taking this action you are making it clear that our mental health is important to the NHS.

Thank you so much for your support.

Best wishes,

Charlotte Wetton, Senior Campaigns Officer.

HIP HOP PSYCH Event 21st November


21st November 2013, 7pm – 9pm. ORTUS learning & events centre, 82-96 Grove Lane, Denmark Hill, London, SE5 8SN

Co-Founded by Dr Akeem Sule & Dr Becky Inkster

“Demystifying mental illness through authentic beats and lyrics”

HHP Screens

Hip-hop culture is a powerful vehicle for raising awareness about mental health. It is rich with references to psychiatric illnesses that have not been explored, dissected and documented until now. HIP HOP PSYCH, co-founded by Dr Akeem Sule & Dr Becky Inkster, is the interface that links hip-hop with mental health.  Their medical credibility and authentic passion for hip-hop enables them to bridge this gap. They understand the culture, speak the language and want to share their knowledge in order to cultivate awareness and remove stigma surrounding mental health and hip-hop.

Although the lyrics of hip hop music are often associated with swearing, rapping about money and the exploitation of women, there are also rappers whose unfiltered narration goes beyond this by describing the harsh realities of their world and the coping mechanisms employed by some young people.  The music can be rich with references, for example, to addiction, psychosis, bipolar disorder and the effects of urbanicity, poor nutrition and destructive parental influences relating to childhood maltreatment in the absence of positive role models.  

For this event, HIP HOP PSYCH Co-Founders Dr Akeem Sule & Dr Becky Inkster will be focusing on dissecting and analysing a range of hip hop lyrics from different artists – such as Eminem, Tupac, Kendrick Lamar and J Cole – in order to demystify mental health.  In doing this they seek to disarm the boundaries between psychiatry, the humanities and hip-hop culture.  Their approach enables them to gain a deeper awareness into gang culture and allows them to get closer to the reality of the daily struggles and risk factors which people with mental health problems face.

The event will also feature a special performance by Key Changes. Key Changes provides music engagement and recovery services for young people and adults experiencing severe mental illnesses including psychosis, schizophrenia, bi polar and personality disorders. Their innovative approach draws on clinical therapeutic techniques and uses culturally relevant music activities and genres.

Twitter: @hiphopsych / Email:

Price: £15 per person. Booking is essential as spaces are limited. CLICK HERE to buy your tickets.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: You must be at least 16 to attend this event.

Why the Sun is so wrong to use violence and fear to start a debate about the mental health system

There are good days and bad days in this job. Monday wasn’t a good one when I saw the Sun’s headline claiming 1200 people had been killed by ‘mental patients’ in the last ten years.

After so much improvement in the way the media reports mental illness in recent years, it felt like a huge step back to the bad old days of headlines like ‘Bonkers Bruno locked up’. In this world of sensationalist reporting, violence is the only prism through which mental illness is viewed.

This is not in any way, to downplay the terrible tragedy of a young life lost. Or indeed the urgent need to address failings in the system which so often play a part in incidents of this nature. And I’m not saying that murders involving people with mental illness should not be reported, of course they should. What I am saying is that they should be reported responsibly and in a way which does reinforce the stereotype that equates mental illness with violence.

While of course there are cases where people with mental illness commit serious acts of violence, we must keep the real risk in perspective. Ninety-five per cent of murders are committed by people who do not have a mental illness. In the vast majority of those 5 per cent of cases, there are other factors at play such as alcohol or drug misuse.

When the coverage of an issue is as crude and sensationalist as it was on Monday, everyone with a mental health diagnosis suffers.  It has been moving to see the reaction from people with mental illness themselves. Many have taken to social media to explain how this kind of reporting compounds the social isolation which mental illness can cause.

As one mental health blogger, Ceri, put it:  “Feeling exposed, vulnerable, persecuted, threatened and fearful, thinking that everyone knows you are evil, is a common part of the paranoid symptoms I and others experience. Having it shouted in the headlines that all this is really true, that you really are dangerous to others, and everyone knows, is a sick joke.”

The Sun may argue that they are only highlighting this issue because services are failing and something needs to be done. While I agree that mental health services badly need to improve, I would argue that coverage of this kind is not the place to start the argument.

We need to start with the enormous human suffering which can be caused by mental illness when decent treatment isn’t available. We should be talking about how people with serious mental illness are being let down by the NHS and social care system. We should be talking about the many thousands of lives lost every year to suicide.

I’d like to see the Sun run a headline highlighting the 30,000 people with mental health problems who are dying needlessly every year from preventable physical health problems. Or a front page splash about the excellent reportproduced this week by Victim Support and Mind which shows that people with mental illness are three times more likely to be the victims of crime.

Last year our Schizophrenia Commission highlighted the way in which we are systematically letting down the 300,000 people in England who have schizophrenia or psychosis and their families.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.  We can do so much more to improve the lives of people with severe mental illness.  Schizophrenia and other conditions do not need to be diagnoses of despair and fear.

A constant focus on a small number of cases involving violence reinforce fear and despair. Instead we need to see a wider debate about the individual and societal costs of mental illness and what can be done about it. A debate prompted by compassion, not fear.