Too Stressed to Speak – Dawn Miller

Too Stressed to Speak…..

Too stressed to speak,
my work load is mounting,
I’ve deadlines to meet,
paying the rent, and bills that won’t keep.

My neighbour blasts his music at night
but for now, I don’t have the strength to fight
instead I lay tense like a wind up toy
wondering how much more I can take.

My phone unnerves me, it is not my friend
Each time I hear the shrill sound
I wait for it to end
the voicemail asks;
Where are you?
You’re not taking your calls!
All I can do is stare at the walls

I can’t eat, yet anxiety eats away at me
Try as I might I can’t concentrate
Things that gave pleasure I now can’t tolerate
The pressure inside is mounting
it’s too much to bear.

The books say, relax and exercise
this will help reduce the signs
I think about happier times I’ve had
I pack a bag with that in mind
hours later I stroll along a Devon beach
I smile, I’m calm and more at peace.

© Dawn Miller


Meet Shani


Hi I am Shani, a member of Rafiki Mental Health Community Champions. After recently completing a Disability Advocacy Course I have decided to join the Rafiki project to improve my understanding of mental health and to support and encourage people who have been affected by it.

People who suffer from mental health face stigmas and discrimination within our own communities. Engaging in conversation and challenging peoples negative views about mental health will help to increase people’s knowledge and also break social barriers. With a background of different language skills and community outreach I hope to pass on the Rafiki aims.


Your child is a blessing
a beautiful present
a bundle of joy heaven sent,
they eat your food and
wet your bed,
they grow up fast and
don’t pay rent.

©Shade Phillips

SEASONS – Shade Phillips

Spring makes the flowers bloom on the end of winters tale
Summer comes bursting through which encourages
us to smile,
Autumn creeps up and stays awhile,
Winter engulfs us, windy ,rainy snowy
Siberian style.

© Shade Phillips

100 great things

I am regular reader of psychologies magazine, have been since I was 17. Admittedly it is what my psychology teacher called ‘pop-psychology’ but I find it good reading and also a chance to indulge a little in the art of self-awareness! Getting to know oneself and one’s personality, strengths, weaknesses inconsistencies and everything in between is a very important part of becoming a rounded, grounded, happy and stable human being. I believe it is essential to mental well-being.

This little thing is one the freebies that came with the magazine which has carved itself a seemingly permanent place on my bed side table. I love the little insights, anecdotes, thoughts and life lessons offered by some of the world’s most influential people including – the Dalai Lama, Sharon Osborne, Jacqueline Wilson and more. I don’t necessarily think these people are inspiring or even knowledgeable because they’re famous. They are people with a talent like all of us. However, undoubtedly they have been through the motions and inevitably they will have things to share that we can learn from. So, in the spirit of treating every person you come across as a teacher, I’m sharing with you a little insight that really stood out to me and that I think you might find useful.

Hilary Mantel, 57, Author

“Arm yourself in advance against the set-backs every life contains. Scan your whole life and list 100 good things: compliments, achievements major and minor. It doesn’t matter if they are things no one else would see as important; they are the things that matter to you. If you meet an obstacle, sit down, take a breath, and read your list. Two things happen. Instantly, you feel better; and the problem, now set in the context of your whole life, seems smaller.”

Would you like me to elaborate? I can, though I will do so briefly as I realise this is a blog not an essay. Hilary Mantel, don’t know who she is or what she writes but I love what she’s said here. Isn’t it so true?! There are so many setbacks in life, people are more than happy to take the opportunity to criticise us and tell us were not good enough. We’re often more than happy to do it to ourselves! I love the idea of walking around with 100 compliments and achievements, a quick intervention in times of crisis. I’m going to write mine now and stick it to the inside of my diary so I never forget that, in the midst of setbacks, failures, lack of self-belief, fear and when I feel like I just have no idea who I am and what my purpose is, my better self can pat me on the back and say ‘hang on a minute, you know that’s not quite true!’

It won’t solve all of our problems but if we can train our minds to focus on the great things about us, then I think it would benefit our well-being endlessly! I hope you’ll join me in getting out the pen and listing 100 great things about YOU!

Nayo Hunt – volunteer

Kindred Minds – Still we rise conference 3rd October 10.30am-4.30pm

We are delighted to invite you to our London-wide Kindred Minds Conference. Please pass onto your networks. All are welcome.

‘Still We Rise’
Building On Our Strengths
Kindred Minds London-WideConference
On Thursday 3 October 2013
10.30am – 4.30pm
Venue:  Employment Academy, 29 Peckham Road,
(next to Peckham Town Hall)
London, SE5 8UA
Jayasree Kalathil – Research Consultant, Survivor Research
Jacqui Dyer- Black and Minority Ethnic Survivor Consultant, Time to Change
      ‘Kindred Minds on the Couch’
   Music and Dance performances    
        Kindred Poetry Performers to mark Poetry Day
   World Dance workshop by Ariella
This is Free Conference
All are welcome.
Please let us know you are coming for catering reasons.
For any enquiries and to let us know you are coming please contact us:


Office:Cambridge House, 1 Addington Square, London, SE5 0HF

Tel:020 7358 7029 / 07809 701 434
Social Action for Health
Kindred Minds – A Southwark Black and Minority Ethnic (BME), user-led mental health project.  Office based at: Cambridge House, 1 Addington Square, London SE5 0HF 
Office tel: 020 7358 7029
Mobile: 07809 701 434  text or call us to receive messages of Kindred Minds events. 
Facebook us: Kindred MindsCurrent Kindred Minds Activities:

Kindred Minds LONDON WIDE CONFERENCE – ‘Still We Rise – Building on Our Strengths’  3rd October 10.30 – 4.30 with entertainment at the Employment Academy, Peckham –   
Kindred Minds PoP-In fortnightly drop-in space @ Cambridge House 4-6pm on:. April 11th and 25th, May 9th and 23rd, June 6th and 20th, July 4th and 18th, August 1st, 15th, 29th, September 12th and 26th, October 10th, 24th, November 7th and 21st.

Kindred Minds Women’s Group 12-2pm @ Cambridge House 30th August, 27th Sept, 25th Oct, 29th Nov 13
Kindred Minds Talkshop, a BME Men’s monthly discussion group 18th Sept, 16th Oct, 13th Nov arrive 6pm for 6.30start til 8.30pm @ Inspire, The Crypt, St.Peter’s Church, Liverpool Grove, SE17 2HH
Crossing Culture Events – Salsa Friday 23rd August 2-4pm @ Cambridge House – different monthly activities till Nov We run workshops/training at your community groups has our outreach programme – contact us for more details – recently visited Dragon Cafe to run Amulet Workshop
Kindred Minds Members Committee consist of 8 BME members. If you’d like to be more actively involved in Kindred Minds please contact us for more information.

Meet Muna


My name is Muna I was born in 1986 back in my homeland Somalia. Since then I lived in many different places but settled in London. When I first came to England I moved to Manchester and currently live in London with my husband and two children. I just got accepted at university of Goldsmiths to study education culture and society.

Life to me means friends and family who you can trust and who trust you. I am pretty much on the happy side of life. In my spare time I like doing activities with my children and have ‘me time’ to myself.  Due to my personal keen interest in children’s activities I volunteered to participate in the Bully Free Zone Training Programme which involved the mediation of children from Year Seven to Year Eleven. I have also successfully completed training in Conflict Resolution and Mediation and am currently a Peer Mediator. After I graduate I want to become primary school teacher.

Mental health is something that can affect any individual and it is kind of a stigma in mainstream society so by getting involved I aim to break these social barriers. This project will allow me to expand my own knowledge on the complexities and differences within mental health.

Working with Faith Communties Training – Rafiki Project


Our champions had some working with faith communities training last Tuesday evening based in Lewisham. The feedback was good and really allowed the space to think about some of the barriers and skills needed to talking about mental health within faith groups.


We shared a wonderful Somali dinner and had the space to connect. We also had 3 new attendees who want to become champions and attend the next training session. Great Result 🙂


Juney is the Community Development Manager for South London and Maudsley within the Mental Health Promotions Team and one of our Champions!! She specialised in work with faith communities and runs a training course for faith leaders supporting them to develop skills in Mental Health


Meet Yvonne

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Meet Agnes