The Open University has partnered with the BBC to co-produce another digital series, similar to the mental health campaign from earlier in the year, but this time focusing on supporting mental health within Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities.
Throughout August, content will be released on the OU and BBC’s social media and online platforms. A number of contributors will draw on their own experiences with a mix of illustrations and video clips, focusing on the current pandemic and feelings they’ve felt during lockdown.
OU academic consultant, Dr Jenny Douglas, Senior Lecturer in Health Promotion, who has been involved in the series commented:
“I have been very pleased to be involved in these timely and much needed videos. I don’t know about everyone else, but I have found the last few months incredibly stressful. The murder of George Floyd and the global protests shone a light on systemic racism in our society and organisations and reminded me of my own personal experiences of racism and discrimination.
In addition, the global pandemic, COVID-19, and its disproportionate impact on Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities, made me aware of my own vulnerabilities as an older Black woman. It is important that we are all aware of the toll that this takes on our own emotional and mental wellbeing and what we can each do to address this. These illustrations and short videos will help us to do this.”
Subject areas of the illustrations include routines during lockdown, the struggle to stay positive, finding ways to process daily thoughts and the pressures of reading headlines and news.
Artist, Kingsley who designed the illustration looking at routine said of his work:
“The concept of a routine is often perceived as boring or too strict for some reason but during lockdown, it has helped me to feel grounded and more structured.
As a creative working from home, my routine was great before the virus. As things became hectic I made it a point to make sure I included things like reading and taking walks (when possible) in order to give myself other things to focus on every day.
I like to read a book for 30 minutes in the morning and go for a short or long walk (depending on the deadlines) when possible and it really helps me process things better.”
In the first of three videos to be released, ‘Race, Covid & Me’ reveals how the current pandemic is shining a light on long-standing inequalities that have been experienced by Black and Asian people, but also how many of the current statistics indicating a higher risk to COVID-19 are negatively affecting the community.
This series was commissioned by Broadcast and Partnerships and is supported by the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies:
- Commissioned by: Dr Caroline Ogilvie, Head of Broadcast & Partnerships
- Academic Consultant for WELS: Dr Jenny Douglas
- Media Fellow for WELS: Dr Mathijs Lucassen
- Broadcast Project Manager: Jo Weeks
Find out more
The OU has a dedicated mental health hub on its free learning site, OpenLearn, which contains short courses, interactives and articles
About The Black Women’s Health & Wellbeing Research Network, which is chaired and founded by Dr Jenny Douglas
Further information on studying Mental Health Nursing and Child and Youth Nursing at the OU
Take a look at the BBC Mental Health page where you can find our previous videos co-produced with the BBC, focusing on Mental Health during lockdown