Archive May 2018

Talking about your mental health can be difficult – you may struggle to find the words. Poetry can be an extremely powerful and cathartic tool for processing painful emotions and for moving into a more positive and mental well frame of mind. This poem explores the physical manifestation of mental pain, and ends on a hopeful note, full of future promise, motivation and inner strength !


Damaged and irreversible

No chance for change

Like the clouds that wander in the open sky

Visible to all, and in plain sight

Your Honor, I present to you the hideous scar

A multitude of questions running the human mind

Like grains of sand


My scars feature daily in the morning, noon and evening slot of every news outlet

They announce me

Not always a true reflection of me

But always the first thing that you see


The paint may fall from the outside walls of the castle

But from where you’re standing, you’ll never know

Who’s home dreaming great dreams

Maybe even writing great lyrics


A story is found in theses scars

Though it appears ugly and dark

Weather beaten, greatly marred

To the worlds physical eyes

Even on sunny afternoons summer light


Behold, these scars narrate my journeys and adventures

The paths I’ve walked upon

Dragons fought

Where I’ve been burned

And hurt


I hope to rise above these scars

Managing at the moment with Talking Therapies

Won’t let the painful memories and feelings

Define me


By Akin  Olusanya


This poem was written as part of our mental health awareness week campaign, helping to bring awareness and break down stigma regarding mental health.  Community Navigator, Akin, often writes wonderful poetry about mental health ; he put pen to paper to illustrate the growing need for men to be able to talk about their experiences and open up when they are struggling.  

My soul is burdened, seems like I’m in the dark
And my mind, overwhelmed
A man with great pride
Had all, lost all,
Everything in me yelling for help
Remember growing up
as a young male,
the world telling me
Always be strong
Now I’m down on life’s luck
A man going on to thirty four
With no navigation to weather the storm
Strange, now I’m losing my sleep
No more appetite to eat
My once good health
Failing me
Anxiety. Depression, bipolar personality disorder,
Schizophrenia …
C’mon fellas,
These are very real
My admonishment therefore is to men:
Let’s all speak up, rise,  seek help
Get counselling, embrace therapy
Know that MIND cares


Poem written by Akin Olunsanya

Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind opened its doors to the Somalian community on Wednesday 9th May 2018 to raise awareness and break down the walls of stigma which have contributed to the suffering mental ill health in silence. In particular, the workshop focussed on stress management and coping strategies.

The talk was delivered by Xiishod, a group set up to combat mental health stigma in the Somali community. Xiishod means ‘ shame/shyness’ in Somali and is a word that encapsulates how many in this community have been made to feel when trying to broach issues about their mental health. Xiishod helps to spread awareness of mental helth and wellbeing to the Somali community and to other ethnic minority groups.

A wonderful and informative day was had by all ! We’d like to say a huge thank you to Xiishod for coming along to deliver such an important workshop.


“Everyone who attended the workshop was very thankful and asked me to pass on their thanks. I also would like to say a big thank you, to you and everyone at the Tooting Hub. If it was not for all of you such an informative and valuable workshop would not have been possible”