Remembering What’s Forgotten

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Remembering What’s Forgotten is a new 12-month hybrid programme and exhibition championing community and lived experience narratives to tackle the overrepresentation of black and South Asian men detained under the Mental Health Act in Leeds.

Co-founded by Synergi-Leeds and Words of Colour, the programme will draw on 50 years of unsung community initiatives, allyship and knowledge to reimagine a more inclusive and equitable mental health system, guided by racial justice.

Using creative and heritage methods, from film, audio, and poetry to archive, co-production and photovoice techniques, the digital and in-person exhibition will feature the narratives of 60 contributors supported by a curated timeline, categorised under The Past, The Present, The Future.

The programme partners include Leeds City Council and Public Health, Leeds & York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Forum Central. Touchstone, Heritage Corner and Leeds Young Authors are co-producing partners while former Leeds United footballer and BBC broadcaster Sanchez Payne is the first project ally to sign up to the programme.

Remembering What’s Forgotten will be launched as a hybrid exhibition, online and in person, in Leeds from October 2024, and in dedication to to the late Heather Nelson (1965 – 2023), CEO and Founder of the Black Health Initiative who was passionate about equality and justice.

Our purpose

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The aim is for the co-produced programme to act as a catalyst for better mental health experiences and outcomes for black and minority ethnic communities amid enduring statistics which show that:

  • Black people are four times more likely than white people to be detained under the Mental Health Act.
  • Black and minority ethnic people are 40% more likely to access mental health care via the criminal justice system than white people.
  • Black and minority ethnic people are less likely to access primary care support, through their GP and more likely to end up in crisis care.

A creative and heritage-inspired response, the narratives and legacy will be used to influence policy, how mental health services are commissioned and delivered, determine what research is conducted and privilege lived experience and community knowledge

Poet, theatremaker, literary activist and Artistic Director of Leeds Young Authors Khadijah Ibrahiim performs poetry from Another Crossing for The Journey to Racial Equality in Leeds Mental Health Services, a documentary commissioned by Synergi Collaborative Centre and produced by Words of Colour in association with Synergi-Leeds.

Project Team

Joy Francis
Joy Francis
Co-Founder and Project Manager
Remembering What's Forgotten
Sharon Prince
Sharon Prince
Synergi-Leeds Co-Lead /
Deputy Director Psychological Professions
Leeds & York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Delvina Saunders
Delvina Saunders
Synergi-Leeds Co-ordinator /
Mental Health Ethnic Inequalities Lead (Adults)
Leeds City Council
Laura Hodgson
Laura Hodgson
Head of Public Health
(Public Mental Health)
Leeds City Council
Wendy Tangen
Wendy Tangen
Clinical Services Inclusion Lead
Leeds & York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Annette Morris
Annette Morris
Involvement Lead, Community Mental Health Transformation
Leeds Involving People
Courtney Caris
Courtney Caris
Assistant Psychologist
Leeds & York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust