31 July 2020

Abertay graduate launches mental health awareness campaign for Black community

Abertay graduate launches mental health awareness campaign for Black community

A photo of Rutendo smiling

An Abertay University Psychology and Counselling graduate has launched a new social media campaign aimed at promoting greater awareness of mental health issues specific to the Black community.

Rutendo Mhonda (pictured), who recently graduated with first class honours, created So We Glow in a bid to open up and normalise the conversation surrounding Black mental health.

So We Glow provides information on a variety of subjects, such as dealing with conversations about race, and coping with the impact of negative perceptions and racism.

"So We Glow is a place people can share experiences in a constructive way – they can talk about their experiences, what they would find helpful, and also get signposted to resources that they might find helpful” - Rutendo Mhonda

The 23-year-old said: “As an aspiring psychologist and as a Black woman, I had certain mental health related questions that I could not find the answer to online.

“I came to realise that there was something of an information gap particularly in the UK, and that there was likely to be other people out there looking for information that was very hard to find.

“I wanted to create a resource that would answer these questions, allowing for open and safe conversations about mental health in the Black community.”

She added: “Engagement with mental health services in the Black community isn’t always as good as it could be, and sometimes the services provided aren’t equipped to address concerns a Black person may have.

So We Glow is a place people can share experiences in a constructive way – they can talk about their experiences, what they would find helpful, and also get signposted to resources that they might find helpful”

Rutendo is hoping So We Glow can help raise awareness: “I really want to shine a light on mental health issues that Black people face, and help them gain greater visibility in the public sphere.

“There are Black people who won’t even know that the problem they are dealing with has a specific name and is a recognised issue, and that can make it difficult to seek support and further information.

“The purpose of So We Glow is not to be a diagnostic tool or to provide therapy, but I want to provide information that isn’t easy to find and directions to the kind of support an individual may want or need. I also want them to realise that they’re not alone.  

“When people realise they’re not alone, they feel more comfortable talking and it’s through that dialogue that awareness will grow, and that can push forward change.

For more information on So We Glow, visit: https://www.instagram.com/so.we.glow/ 

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