New Music Beats collaboration song ‘The Game’ launched to get young people talking about their Mental Health!
Healthwatch Leicester and Leicestershire were undertaking a project on male suicide and were looking at ways to reach out to young people from BAME communities to get them talking about their mental health and to encourage them to reach out and seek help if they were struggling. Traditional ways communicating face to face or the written word are not seen as ‘cool’ ways of connecting with young people these days so they were looking for imaginative ways in which to develop messages that young people can identify with.
Jackie Owen (HealthWatch Leicester) approached Equality Action to discuss sharing contacts from the BAME community as part of a research study about Male suicide. They were undertaking a a piece of work as part of their VitaMinds project, whose remit includes identifying any barriers people communities from BAME communities face in accessing IAPT (increasing Access to Psychological Therapies).
Both Project Officers come from creative backgrounds, with extensive experience in community arts/education and keen to explore how the medium of music could be used to engage communities considered to be ‘hard to reach’.
Healthwatch could see the potential in collaboration and offered financial backing for the music/soundtrack
To create and produce a music soundtrack and lyrics based on the thoughts of BAME males about their mental health and wellbeing.
Promotional options will include sharing the soundtrack on YouTube and other suitable social media platforms. It is envisaged that the soundtrack could also be used as an educational resource
A callout on social media helped to enlist participants , from which a cohort of 5 males aged 14-25 consistently worked on elements of the project including writing lyrics. Healthwatch shared some key messages that they wanted to convey to young people about reaching out and talking about their mental health and these were incorporated into the final lyrics.
A focus group session was set up with members of the Freedom Youth Club, based at the Centre Project in Leicester to moot the idea of creating breakbeats and lyrics for a music soundtrack. Their feedback was positive and it was clear there was an enthusiasm and interest in this type of activity.
Funding support from HealthWatch Leicester enabled Equality Action to enlist the services of Loughborough based rapper Lacky C, adding his unique vocal and storytelling talents to complete the final soundtrack entitled ‘The Game’.
It is hoped that this music will be spread far and wide and that the lyrics will resonate with young people and enable them to recognise feelings they may be having and that is it ok to reach out and talk.
Catch the Live facebook stream with Lacky C , Jackie Owen and Anita Barrand talking about the music project
Listen to the The Game on Youtube.