Undaunted: A mental health roundtable

Thursday 31th March

In collaboration with Decolonising The Archive (DTA), join us for a roundtable event discussing Black mental health


This year we are cataloguing the papers of Melba Wilson, as part of a Wellcome Trust funded project which seeks to utilise archives to disrupt dominant categorisations and narratives in health research. The collection spans over 40 years of Melba Wilson’s work in national and regional mental health programmes, policy units and services, including grassroots and community activism alongside formal policy work and leadership.

As part of the project we are collaborating with our creative residents, Decolonising The Archive (DTA), to present a public programme, delving further into the stories and legacies of Black mental health initiatives in the UK. For this roundtable event our participants will discuss contemporary initiatives and research into Black mental health.

Covid-19 has had a seismic impact on the rise in mental health conditions across the UK. As the effects of the global pandemic have amplified existing inequalities in society, African and African Caribbean communities have been particularly affected by this rise, due to the intersecting factors of health, employment and social inequalities. It is within this context that our panel will discuss their work, highlighting marginalised experiences in encountering mental health user services.

Donations are welcome. Suggested donations start at £5. However, we welcome those who are unable to donate to attend. Donations go to Black Cultural Archives.

Hosted by: Connie Bell (DTA)


Melba Wilson OBE

Dr Jacquie Dyer MBE

Kariima Ali

Black Thrive

Connie Bell

Connie Bell is one of the founding members of Decolonising the Archive. She is a Memory Work Practitioner, Cultural Producer and Theatre Director. Her work explores decolonisation, memory as time travel and diasporic narratives. Decolonising the Archive are a collective that, “mobilise History, surfacing narratives that speak to Black African and Caribbean experiences on the continent and in the diaspora”. Their fundamental aim is to develop an African-centred approach to how people of African heritage ‘do history’. Decolonising The Archive exists to ensure that #blackarchives are defined and disseminated by people of African heritage.


Dr Jacqui Dyer MBE

Jacqui Dyer is an independent health and social care consultant with a background in adult mental health commissioning as well as community and family social work. She is passionate about prevention and understanding the factors that lead to poor mental health. As a mental health service user and carer for the past few decades, Jacqui’s knowledge is extensive, and her commitment is personal, political and professional. She has worked with a wide range of vulnerable care groups and has a strong interest in grassroots community empowerment. In early 2019, Jacqui was appointed as the Mental Health Equalities Champion for England and is currently the Mental Health Equalities Advisor for NHS England. As a co-founder, and chair, of Lambeth’s Black Thrive, a partnership which takes a collective impact approach to improving the mental health and wellbeing of its Caribbean and African citizens; addressing inequities in the system is at the forefront of her thinking. Jacqui was an advisory panel member of the Independent Mental Health Act Review and co-chair of its African & Caribbean Working Group delivering the review recommendations in December 2018. As vice chair of England’s Mental Health Taskforce, Jacqui was an integral part of collaboratively developing the Five-Year Forward View for Mental Health. Jacqui is also an elected Lambeth Labour Councillor where she is joint cabinet member for jobs, skills and community safety having previously held jointly the health and adult social care cabinet portfolio.


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