Psychosis and Racial Trauma

Friday 16th December

This community event offers to bring together mental health professionals, grassroots organisations, people with lived experience and anyone interested in understanding the impact and the meaning of racial trauma in psychosis.


For 1 white British person detained under the Mental Health Act, there are almost 4 Black people and more than 2 Asian people. The same disproportion in psychiatric diagnoses: 4.7 Black people and 2.4 Asian people for 1 white British person receiving a diagnosis of schizophrenia (source: Synergi Collaborative Centre briefing, 2017).

How do racialisation and severe mental illness intersect? How can we better serve those impacted by both?

A panel of experts in racial trauma and psychosis, whether by training or experience – or both, will discuss these questions and more, with a view to leading creative conversations on therapeutic initiatives in the community.

Featuring contributions by the PTP-USEMI team and special guests.

Guest participants

  • Lorraine Gordon (Consultant Counselling Psychologist, Southwark Directorate Patient and Carer Race Equality Framework (PCREF) Senior Lead)
  • Ankhi Mukherjee (Professor of English and World Literatures at the University of Oxford)
  • Earl Pennycooke (Racial Trauma Specialist and Black Men’s group Facilitator, USEMI Co-founder and Director)
  • Matt Richardson (Psychology and Psychotherapy Lead, Southwark Community Psychosis Services, SLaM)
  • Keren Yeboah (Clinical Psychologist, Clinical manager within Local Authority Integrated Health Services)


1:30pm – 2:15pm: Opening panel with PTP-USEMI Directors – Dorothée Bonnigal-Katz; Dione Dalley; Earl Pennycooke; Barry Watt

2:15pm – 3:30pm: Psychosis or Racial Trauma? – Lorraine Gordon; Ankhi Mukherjee; Matt Richardson. Chair: Earl Pennycooke

3:30pm – 4:00pm: Tea break

4:00pm – 5:00pm: Panel on PTP-USEMI micro-clinics – Comadres Latin American womxn’s group (Ana Minozzo and Laura Scott-Rosales); Zamana South Asian women’s group (Nabila Azam); Arkadaşlar Turkish and Cypriot community group (Kayan Houssein). BWG Black Women’s Group (Allison Taylor). Chair: Claudia Celadon

Organised by the Psychosis Therapy Project and USEMI Racial Trauma Clinic

The artist writes:

‘Vibrant Innocence’ is a photographic, mixed media collage reflecting on my upbringing and identity as a person of mixed heritage – White & Black. I wanted to express my childhood innocence through vibrant colour inspired by African Wax textiles and as symbolism for the carefree mind I had as a child before society dictated my identity through stereotypes.

When we are children, we are unaware of societal and racial constructs that are placed upon us. So, when I grew up, the innocence no longer existed and I was left with a significant level of difficulty to define what ‘home’ and identity meant to me, especially coming from two cultures.

‘Vibrant Innocence’ is a personal reminder to me that only we as individuals can define our identity. Furthermore, only I can define my whiteness and blackness and define what home truly means to me – FAMILY.

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