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Charity marks successful first mental health workshop for ethnic communities in Ilford

PUBLISHED: 12:31 28 February 2017 | UPDATED: 12:31 28 February 2017

The Sky Sharma  held their first mental health workshop at Redbridge Central Library on Saturday. Picture by Ellie Hoskins

The Sky Sharma held their first mental health workshop at Redbridge Central Library on Saturday. Picture by Ellie Hoskins

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One of Redbridge’s newest charities held their first public mental health workshop on Saturday.

The Sky Sharma  held their first mental health workshop at Redbridge Central Library on Saturday. Picture by Ellie HoskinsThe Sky Sharma held their first mental health workshop at Redbridge Central Library on Saturday. Picture by Ellie Hoskins

The Sky Sharma Foundation was formed by Neelam and Dinesh Sharma after their 21-year-old son Akash committed suicide, to tackle mental health issues within minority communities.

The group’s workshop at Redbridge Central Library, in Clements Road, Ilford, was aimed at raising awareness of the little things that can have an impact on mental health.

Speakers at the event included Maria Zarat, who gave the audience a talk on recognising the early signs of depression and anxiety, and Monica Sood, who spoke about how eating well had an affect on people’s brain chemistry.

The Sky Sharma  held their first mental health workshop at Redbridge Central Library on Saturday. Picture by Ellie HoskinsThe Sky Sharma held their first mental health workshop at Redbridge Central Library on Saturday. Picture by Ellie Hoskins

Neelam said: “Mental health is something we need to get people, particularly in ethnic minority communities, talking about.

“A lot of times the stigma leads to people not talking about it. It’s almost as if they go ‘oh mental health issues don’t happen to us’.”

Neelam was thrilled with how the workshop was received.

“We definitely got the response we were looking for,” she told the Recorder.

“We even had some people in the audience admit that they were fighting mental health problems.

“We’re holding these workshops to encourage people to come forward and deal with the problem openly and get the help they need.”


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