Havering Council has teamed up with four local rap stars for an online concert to help raise awareness of mental health issues made worse by COVID-19.
The event – headlined by MOBO winner Guvna B – will be exclusively for young people in Havering and hopes to provide a place for them to discuss mental health issues and learn more about the local help available.
As part of the Council’s mental health campaign – #BeNiceToYourNoggin – it has teamed up with local youth charity Lifeline Projects, and their mental health movement, SW!TCH Minds, to co-create the Positivity Breeds Possibility 2021 (#PBP2021) online event, featuring live performances of rap, gospel, spoken word poetry, and educational content on mental health for 1,000 young people within Havering.
Headlining the #PBP2021 event, which will be hosted by Lifeline Projects young ambassadors, will be Guvna B, a two-time MOBO Awards winner who has recently released a book that explores how toxic masculinity affects young men today. Also performing will be mental health charity, Anxiety UK, patron Nick Brewer; rapper, songwriter and producer Happi Music and local artist Kxba.
The artists will deliver live performances exclusively for the event and will take part in an open and honest question and answer session about mental health to encourage others to do the same and to highlight the support available. Young people will be encouraged to submit their questions for the stars ahead of the event when signing up. Dara, a 16-year-old ambassador for SW!TCH Minds, will also be performing some of her original spoken word poetry.
The #PBP2021 online concert is free for up to 1,000 young people in Havering, and places can be booked online.
Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said: ‘At a time when mental health awareness and support is so important, it is great to see the Council working with local charities and pursuing innovative ways of ensuring we are speaking effectively to our young people.
‘#PBP2021 is the first event of its kind that the Council is taking part in, and we hope to encourage the young people of Havering to start important conversations surrounding mental health and to raise awareness of the wealth of in-borough support available to them.
‘Taken out of the classroom and torn away from peer groups – this has been an immensely difficult time for our young people. I’m proud the Council can put on this event to thank them for their amazing resilience and to reassure them that we are on their side.’
Nathan Singleton, CEO of Lifeline Projects, says: ‘Sometimes having someone to talk to can prevent a well-being issue from becoming a mental health crisis. We currently mentor up to 400 young people, but we know more is needed on the back of the pandemic. #PBP2021 will help draw attention to the need and the provision.’
SW!TCH Minds ambassador, Dara, says: ‘I am elated to take part in this event. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase gifts and talents. I also think this event is a great opportunity to learn more about mental health and speak out against the unspoken.’
Mental health problems affect around one in ten children and young people. With the coronavirus pandemic presenting new challenges and difficult changes for many, it is now more important than ever to ensure young people have the support they need to cope with the issues they are facing.
Havering Council launched the mental health campaign called #BeNiceToYourNoggin in January to help connect local residents with the support available within the borough. It focuses on a range of audiences and provides specialist advice and support for children and young people.