Black History Month have recognised the trauma, sadness, and impact of the unprecedented times we are all living in. Regrettably, it has been “The Perfect Storm & Tsunami” of challenges and issues which include:

  • Ongoing Windrush Generation Scandal & Compensation shortcomings
  • Health Inequalities because of the Lockdown and Covid-19 impact on the diverse BAME communities in the UK
  • The worldwide impact and reaction following the killing of George Floyd
  • Momentum and recognition of The Black Lives Matters campaign amongst young people and Institutions

To help and assist, we have reached out to our friends and associates in the professional fields of Counselling, Therapy and Coaching to give an insight on how they can help people find a way through the challenges being faced through no fault of their own.

One of these friends is Darnell Cadette, a registered professional from The British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists.

Ships in the harbour are safe; but that’s not what ships were made for………..

“As a Black male, I have a keen interest in developing mechanisms for increased access to mental health services”

My journey down the road of counselling and therapy was a long, convoluted and possibly predictable one.

I was born in Brent, North London and brought up in Tulse Hill, Brixton. My environment, much like other inner-city boroughs, brought its own set of unique challenges and opportunities. It was my experience at home and my schooling that ultimately set me on a trajectory aimed at a career supporting others. My teachers at Tulse Hill School were, by and large, very supportive and understanding of the personal circumstances and pastoral requisites needed by many of the students. At school, a listening ear often helped to smooth relations and resolve conflict (and sometimes not!) between students and between student and teacher. At home, I was always encouraged to do my best at school and was given the practical tools to do so.

The paternalistic support from home and school gave me the green light and motivation to support those that missed out on opportunities from which to evolve and lead meaningful lives.  Surely, such support should be made available for all vulnerable people?

I began my working career as a civil servant, but later I re-entered the world of education in a school in Camden as a learning mentor. Many of the young people I worked with, came from difficult and challenging backgrounds. This was a baptism of fire, but also a great learning and rewarding experience. Since then and after roles as an Education Advisor, Children Centre manager and a Deputy Inclusion manager. I then steered myself down the path of counselling and therapy.

I would like to encourage anyone who has not had experience of counselling to at least try to learn more about the benefits it can offer in terms self-awareness. As many might believe, counselling is not about giving advice but actively engaging in a process of a shared experience intended to bring about healthy outcomes for the clients. My experience so far in the field of education leads me to suspect that many individuals in the Black community and Black men are suffering in silence. As a Black male, I have a keen interest in developing mechanisms for increased access to mental health services.

I hope to broaden my work to include assisting young people in general, and Black men both in groups and individually. As well as in prisons, mental health institutions and at residential retreats. In the meantime, I would welcome the opportunity to offer my services. I am due to start a weekly slot on Allflavas Radio as well writing more articles and content on this important issue for our community.

You can contact Darnell on the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists website. (BACP no. 376719) and he is available for an informal discussion on 07904 300342.

Plus, very soon he will be hosting a special weekly phone-in show on All Flavas Radio station.