Episode 31: Mental health in Black African communities with Deanson Senda

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Deanson is one of HeadStart Wolverhampton’s School Support Coordinators, and works with school students and staff in two of HeadStart target areas in the city: Bilston East; and All Saints, Blakenhall, Parkfields and Ettingshall.

Deanson was born in Zimbabwe, and has studied and worked in mental health in several African countries before moving to the UK and Wolverhampton. In this podcast conversation we discuss a wide range of topics, including: perceptions of mental health in Black African communities, and the impact of racism on mental health.

We hope you find the show to be an interesting listen. As always, please drop us a line @HeadStartFM or submit a comment below with any thoughts!

Show links:

Episode 30: In conversation with Zohra Khaku, Director of the Muslim Youth Helpline

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In the show today, we’re going to hear a conversation I recorded a couple of weeks ago with Zohra Khaku. Zohra is the Director of the Muslim Youth Helpline, a national award-winning charity helpline that provides free and confidential faith and culturally sensitive support services to young Muslims around the UK.

Huge thanks to Zohra for sitting down with me; I hope you find the conversation to be interesting and thought-provoking.

You can find out more about MYH on their website at www.myh.org.uk.


Episode 29: 'A SUMO Special' from Trinity CE Primary

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In this episode of the HeadStart podcast, we're back at Trinity CE Primary school for a 'SUMO Special'. SUMO stands for 'Stop, Understand, Move On' and is a set of strategies created and explained by author and speaker Paul McGee in his book of the same name. Megan, Adi and Olivia from Year 5 and Year 6 at Trinity did a fantastic job of explaining the basics of SUMO. In the podcast, our young presenters explore the first four SUMO themes of:

  • Change Your T-Shirt

  • Fruity Thinking

  • Hippo Time Is OK

  • Remember The Beachball

Thanks to Mr. Nelson at Trinity CE Primary for organising the recording and to our three young presenters for being fantastic hosts!

SUMO Animations

Episode 28: The World Mental Health Day podcast from Trinity CE Primary

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October 10th was World Mental Health Day, and the following day HeadStart was in one of our partner primary schools, Trinity CE Primary, to record a podcast with three young people from Year 5 and Year 6.


Yara, Amitoj and Mason did a great job of sharing information and their thoughts on questions such as: "What is mental health?", "What can affect our mental health?" and "What can we do to support our mental health?". They also shared some of their personal experiences.

Thanks to Mr. Nelson at Trinity CE Primary for organising the recording and to our three young presenters for being fantastic hosts!

Shownotes and links

Episode 27: Mental health in the Punjabi community with Shuranjeet Singh, Taraki.uk

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In this new episode of the HeadStart podcast, I had the great pleasure of speaking to Shuranjeet Singh. Shuranjeet is a mental health advocate and campaigner, and the founder of Taraki, a service which works with the Punjabi community, and especially with men in that community, to break down the stigma that surrounds mental health issues, and to put members of the that community in touch with the support they need.

The conversation is a 'deep dive' into Shuranjeet's work with Taraki, the personal experiences that led to him creating the service, and to the cultural, religious and historical contexts that may lead to mental health being a taboo subject for men in the Punjabi community and Sikh Faith. The conversation is a reminder that a 'one size fits all' approach to tackling the stigma of mental health is unlikely to work; we need to understand the beliefs and cultural backgrounds of individuals in order to engage and support them effectively.

We hope you find the podcast to be a insightful and thought-provoking listen! Huge thanks to Shuranjeet for taking the time to speak to HeadStart.