October is Black History Month, a series of events and celebrations showcasing the past contributions and present reality for Black People in the UK. The month of celebrations has been officially recognised in the UK since the 1980s, and is usually a chance to promote Black voices and Black cultural contributions. This year, Black History Month feels more significant than ever before due to the increased global awareness of issues highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement, uncompassionate treatment of some Black British people of the Windrush Generation and the disproportionate impact Covid-19 has had on BAME people.

In these unsettling and uncertain times it’s more important than ever to look after our mental health. Black African and Caribbean people in the UK are more likely to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act, but not more likely than anyone else to suffer from mental ill-health. Bristol has some specialist services for BAME people, focussing on mental health and emotional wellbeing. These services allow a safe space for BAME people to explore their mental health in the wider context of their experiences of race. Some of these services are listed in our leaflet for BAME people, and on our directory of service changes for the Covid-19 period, and we have a dedicated page hosting resources for BAME people on our website. Greater representation is still needed though, and you can read Time to Change Champion Bernice's story about why that is here, and watch Louise's video about mental health in the Black community here.

Some people are finding that current events, whether related to the Black Lives Matter movement, inequalities or conflict around reactions to the changes brought on by Covid-19, are bringing up feelings of justifiable anger and conflict. Feeling in conflict with someone can take over our thoughts and lower our mood, but our short mindfulness audio will help you face this situation - and learn to manage the emotion of anger - in a safe and healthy way.

CASS along with local partners have workshops coming up, specifically for BAME people, one for men, and also three sessions for women following on from a workshop during the summer. If you’re interested in CASS running workshops for BAME staff, volunteers or group members, why not have a look at some of the presentations we’ve used in the past and get in touch with us by email.

To follow all the events in Bristol throughout October and sign up for your copy of the annual Black History Month magazine, follow Bristol Black History Month on Facebook.