I Am Hip Hop Magazine is thrilled to be involved in year 2 of charity Rethink Mental Illness’s annual youth mental health awareness conference. Rethink’s Youth Well-being day will be on December 2nd 2017 at The Lyric, Hammersmith, alongside our Rap Therapy workshop (facilitated by Apex Zero) there will be a number of organisations running workshops throughout the day to promote positive well-being.
We catch up with Rethink’s champion Danielle to find out more!
Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Danielle. I am 25 years old and I love live music, dancing, good vibes, my bicycle and woodlands.
Can you tell us a bit about your experiences with Mental Health?
I have long battled with depression and anxiety. I used to struggle with self harm and use drugs and alcohol to self medicate. I would say 14 is when I started to notice problems, particularly around depression.
What top three ways have you found help improve your mental health?
For me it’s been a long process of finding what works. At the moment talking therapy, staying social and keeping active are what I would say help the most.
I am Hip Hop are running the rap therapy workshop this year at the conference. From past experience, how has penning down your thoughts through poetry/ Hip Hop helped improve your mental Health?
Hip Hop music to me is all about overcoming adversity and expressing the pain, but also being confident through it all. Listening to hip hop helps me with affirming myself and building my confidence.
It can be frustrating sometimes when I compare myself to others, but when I feel a burning desire and get something down the process is exhilarating. My favourite poem I did was a rework of dear mama which I wrote for my mum as a present for mothers day . It was about my mental health and how she supported me. I got to reflect on how far I’d come in my journey in quite a cathartic way and also tell her how much she meant to me.
What are the top 3 Hip Hop tracks that have helped you through difficult times?
Nas- If Heaven Was a Mile Away
Mobb Deep- Shook Ones
Tell us a bit about how you are involved with Rethink?
I am a Step Up Champion which means I get the chance to co-produce workshops and resources which help young people develop useful tools to maintain their mental health.
You were also present at last year’s conference. What was the response like?
I was part of the Step Up Workshop but I heard feedback from the Rap therapy workshop and it sounded amazing. I am actually going to participate in it this year because I don’t want to miss it again.
What do you think we could do to improve mental health awareness amongst young people?
I think continuing to meet them in the space that they are at and opening up dialogue. But also using the mediums they respond to such as music, sport and even fashion.
What are you currently working on?
I started working on a piece for an anthology called The Colour of Madness, which is about BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) experiences with mental health, so keep a look out for that.
Sign up for your FREE place to the Invisible Struggles Youth Well-being day on December 2nd 2017. For more details and registration click here.