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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

Shifting the Dial

Shifting The Dial has been developed in response to statistics that show that young African Caribbean men in the UK are much more likely than their white counterparts to develop serious mental illness, and three times more likely to be at risk of suicide as referenced in the Centre For Mental Health report Against The Odds (July 2017). The three year project has been developed as a result of a successful pilot scheme, Up My Street – an initiative which ran in Birmingham between September 2015 and July 2017.

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust in Partnership with Birmingham Repertory Theatre, First Class Legacy, and Centre for Mental Health received National Lottery funding over a three year period to run a scheme, Shifting the Dial, which aims to develop a Birmingham-based brotherhood of 300 young African Caribbean Men who feel mentally stronger and healthier.

Shifting The Dial has engaged groups of young African Caribbean men in cultural activities run by First Class Legacy and The REP at a range of places within Birmingham and Solihull, working alongside artists and facilitators who they can relate to, trust and can inspire them for their futures. The scheme works to strengthen the mental health resilience and wellbeing of the men involved, improve their self-esteem and self-belief; assist their personal development and life skills, increase economic opportunities, raise mental health awareness and encourage inclusion. It also addresses the weathering effects of racism, discrimination, negative self-image and invisibility.


For further information please contact Beresford.dawkins@nhs.net.

Shifting the Dial