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From Pledge to Action

From Pledge to Action

By Synergi Collaborative Centre
From Pledge to Action is a new digital series providing a platform for diverse voices and stories to shed light on what taking action to tackle ethnic inequalities in mental health systems could, and should, look like.

Backed by Synergi's #ethnicinequalitiespledge, this co-curated series features conversations, interviews and first person testimonies on what will lead to real change.

Largely produced during the 3rd lockdown, we explore topics such as collaborative leadership, intersectionality, anti-racist research, meaningful white allyship, and spotlight the next generation of leaders.
In conversation with Synergi Pledge Makers: Dr Sara Munro
Dr Sara Munro, CEO, the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, talks to Joy Francis, Founding Co-Director of Synergi about being part of the our National Pledge to reduce ethnic inequalities in mental health systems, and how she and her team are navigating the government's undermining messages on race equality, amplified by the Sewell Report. She says: 'It is hard not to stray into political territory. One thing that we will try to do is to listen to the people within the organisation who we work with, and our partners, about the experiences of our service users and that, to us, is their truth. I’m not going to say, because there is a set of service users over here saying that we are now in a multicultural society, that it's not an issue any more. Absolutely, it is because the data within my organisation says that it is.'
February 10, 2022
Emotional labour, race and the NHS
Consultant Psychiatrist Tulika Jha shares her definition of emotional labour as a woman of colour and reveals how she has navigated the institutional challenges of structural racism by being an activist and developing a definition, and practice, of holistic self care.
February 03, 2022
Championing anti-racist research
The McPin Foundation's Research Director Vanessa Pinfold talks about her commitment to becoming an anti-racist organisation, the importance of championing anti-racist research and why she has chosen to focus on internal changes, and what needs to be embodied, within herself, within her family as well as her organisation. She says: 'This has got to be deep. This has got to be long lasting and we need to move forward carefully, but we need to move forward.'
January 27, 2022
White allyship and organisational change
Emma Thomas, CEO, Young Minds and Rosie Tressler, CEO, Student Minds explore the value of collaboration, and white allyship, the amplification of racial justice in the wake of the worldwide Black Lives Matter protest and amid the pandemic, the importance of creating space to reflect, the changes they are making within their organisations to be more inclusive and their concerns at the many charities not engaging in anti-racist work.
January 25, 2022
Racial Justice and mental health
Akiko Hart, CEO of NSUN (National Survivor User Network), talks candidly about her organisation's journey on racial justice in mental health as a predominately white organisation, the inevitable tension that results and why it has shifted its attention to and is working with grassroots groups, led by and for people of colour, 'who are doing something really different that’s not being picked up by mainstream mental health discourse'.  She also challenges the 'whiteness' of mainstream mental health organisations, particularly at board level, and warns that unless space is made at the top and board director get out of the way, the picture will not change.
January 17, 2022
Mental health, activism and intersectionality - Part 2
In part two of our In Conversation... series on mental health, activism and intersectionality, Black Trans Foundation founder and director Azekel Axelle Nasah and TransActual UK director Rico Jacob Chase get real about their experiences as QTIPOC mental health activists, the legacy of colonialism and enslavement, the impact of George Floyd's murder and the Black Lives Matter protests and the impact of structural racism in mental health systems.
January 13, 2022
Mental health, activism and intersectionality - Part 1
In the first of a two part In Conversation... on Mental health, activism and intersectionality, writer, creative producer and founder of UNMUTED Suriya Aisha connects with musician, artist and abolitionist Jolliff Seville for the first time to share their lived experience of mental health and disability, explore the role of self care and the importance of retaining 'ancestral ways', how as community organisers they are mobilising for change for LGBTQI people of colour as part of creating their own spaces and structures in the face of systems 'designed for separation'.
January 12, 2022
Synergi, collaborative leadership and managing divergence
Kamaldeep Bhui, Co-Director of the Synergi Collaborative Centre and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford, speaks to the impact of Synergi since its launch nearly five years ago and the power of collaborative leadership to navigate divergent views on racism and ethnic inequalities in the mental health care of people with lived experience of severe mental illness.
November 29, 2021