Jamila’s Legacy – Supporting and educating communities and organisations in mental health well-being
Jamila’s Legacy is a non-profit organisation that offers advice, advocacy, support, a listening service, self-care activities and training to individuals interested in maintaining their own mental health well-being and supporting others.
Jamila’s Legacy has been bringing people together to increase mental health awareness and deepen understanding since 2015. We have been working at a community and grassroots level, engaging with ethnic minority communities, and have developed an understanding of their needs, barriers and challenges.
We know that stigma and shame around mental health still exists and in some ethnic minority communities there can be additional barriers and challenges to opening up or seeking help due to family and community expectations and or some cultural norms and beliefs.
WHO IS JAMILA’S LEGACY FOR?
Jamila’s Legacy is for anyone who has an interest in their own mental health wellbeing and or the mental health wellbeing of others. You do not have to have a mental health problem to access our services. We all have mental health just like we all have physical health. Many factors can affect our mental health, causing it go up and down - such as our genetics, upbringing, life circumstances and our responses and ability to cope with challenges, difficulties and/or high levels of stress.
Jamila’s Legacy believes everyone should have some basic mental health awareness and knowledge of how to take care of their own mental health.
Having some knowledge, awareness & understanding:
• Equips and motivates individuals to take ownership of caring for their mental health
• Increases confidence and trust to seek help
• Deepens understanding and reduces stigma
• Enables people to develop coping skills and resilience
• Increases confidence to support others
Jamila was a young lady who had severe mental health problems. Jamila was a mother, daughter and friend. Jamila had beautiful long black hair that reached well below her knees. Jamila took great pride in her appearance and loved dressing up and going out. After the birth of her daughter, Jamila’s mental health deteriorated and her joy for life started to diminish.The lack of understanding and support from her family, friends and community resulted in Jamila living on her own and becoming isolated whilst living in the heart of a large community.
Jamila sadly passed away at the age of 35. Jamila was let down by the services responsible for the care of vulnerable people and died as a result of neglect. Unfortunately, Jamila’s story is not an isolated experience and many more continue to be misunderstood.
Jamila’s Legacy was set up in memory of Jamila and all those who are no longer with us who struggled with their mental health. Jamila’s Legacy exists to increase mental health awareness, advocate for the rights of people with mental health problems and to normalise mental health conversations.
Jamila’s Death Highlighted:
• The lack of awareness and understanding of mental health in ethnic minority communities.
• Shame, fear and stigma around mental illness is prevalent.
• People with mental health problems are unaware of their rights and the services on offer.
• There is lack of trust and fear in accessing services due to various reasons such as the disproportionate number of black males being sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
• People with mental health problems are more likely to experience inequality and discrimination.
• People with mental health problems are less likely to have a support network and are at higher risk of becoming isolated.
Jamila’s Legacy strives to bring these issues to the forefront and work collaboratively with the community and organisations to address these issues.
“Rehana has created something wonderful, a safe space both in the real world and online for people to talk about their mental health and well-being to support each other and bring about the change that is needed”
Darren Goddard – Force Crime Registrar at Leicestershire Constabulary