Interview: Using The Arts To Tackle Mental @Rethink_ Champion Harry



Name: Harry

Age: 23

Occu­pa­tion: Youth Work­er & Poet

Hob­bies: Net­flix & chill, nap­ping & Poké­mon Go

Favour­ite Food: Bur­gers

Favour­ite Music: hip hop

Favour­ite Hip-Hop Artist: Tupac

Tell us a bit about your­self…

I’m a 23-year-old youth work­er and poet. I live in Ful­ham with my cat Proust. I am also a Poké­mon Mas­ter.

 Can you tell us about your per­son­al exper­i­ence with men­tal health?

Yeah, sure, when I was grow­ing up, my moth­er struggled with Bi-polar dis­order and my fath­er wasn’t around. This made it dif­fi­cult for my mum to raise me and my two young­er broth­ers. She developed a drink­ing prob­lem to help cope, but it res­ul­ted in me and my broth­ers being put into care.

I myself have been dia­gnosed with depres­sion. I have been recently dis­charged from ther­apy and I am also tak­ing med­ic­a­tion for it.

Is the med­ic­a­tion use­ful?

Ini­tially it made me con­stantly sleepy. How­ever, after a minor adjust­ment it got bet­ter. I feel the med­ic­a­tion has helped me get a job and work towards my goal.

 What else helped you over­come some of your struggles?

My social work­er has been really great. I also have a really amaz­ing sup­port net­work; friends, fam­ily & my foster fam­ily. I have also found volun­teer­ing in men­tal health help­ful. The people I work with under­stand what I am going through and I can make a dif­fer­ence.

From your exper­i­ence, what do you feel can be done to improve men­tal health ser­vices in gen­er­al?

I think involving young people much more in the decision mak­ing pro­cess of men­tal health ser­vices is vital. It helps cre­ate a bet­ter ser­vice and the exper­i­ences of being involved will help improve young peoples own men­tal health in the long run. I think the best way to do that is through the mod­el of co-pro­duc­tion, which involves young people dir­ectly in the cre­ation, deliv­ery and eval­u­ation of men­tal health ser­vices.

 Tell us more about volun­teer­ing with Rethink Men­tal Ill­ness.

I have been volun­teer­ing with for Rethink for the past three and a half years. I have been involved in many co-pro­duc­tion pro­jects over the years. An example is the “MiC” pro­ject. This was a pilot study we did in 2013. We gathered feed­back and views of young people in care in west Lon­don, some who had transitioned from child men­tal health ser­vices to adult ones. We ana­lysed their feed­back and were able to use the data to devel­op train­ing for teach­ers and social work­ers to help improve the exper­i­ence of young people in sim­il­ar situ­ations.

What are you cur­rently doing with Rethink? 

I am work­ing on a men­tal health con­fer­ence designed for young people who live in Ham­mer­smith & Ful­ham, Kens­ing­ton & Chelsea, and West­min­ster. We are going to include inter­act­ive work­shops, spe­cial guest per­form­ances, volun­teer­ing oppor­tun­it­ies and much more.

Are you going to be per­form­ing?

Maybe, I guess you will have to come along to find out.

Catch I am Hip Hop Magazine at the Rethink ‘Invis­ible Struggles’ Con­fer­ence on Octo­ber 29th 2016. 


Are you aged 16–25?

Are you inter­ested in men­tal health?

Do you live in Kens­ing­ton & Chelsea, Ham­mer­smith & Ful­ham or West­min­ster bor­oughs?

You are invited to Invis­ible Struggles – A young people’s men­tal health con­fer­ence

Date: 29th Octo­ber 2016

Time: 11:30–5:00pm

Loc­a­tion: Ham­mer­smith (see web­site for more details)

What is included:

Two course meal

Spe­cial guest per­form­ances

Inter­act­ive work­shops

Free­bies & good­ie bags

What you can gain:

Volun­teer­ing oppor­tun­it­ies

Resi­li­ence build­ing tools

Under­stand­ing of avail­able ser­vices and sup­port in your loc­al area

Net­work­ing with like oth­er young like minded indi­vidu­als

Book your free tick­ets via

Vis­it for more inform­a­tion

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I Am Hip-Hop magazine wel­comes con­tri­bu­tions from guest authors. If you would like to review an event, please get in touch! iamhiphopmagazine[at]

About Guest Author

Guest Author
I Am Hip-Hop magazine welcomes contributions from guest authors. If you would like to review an event, please get in touch! iamhiphopmagazine[at]