This workstream is all about supporting grassroots campaigning groups who are working on the intersection of racial justice and mental health. This might include groups who are campaigning for legislative change around the Mental Health Act, groups that are fighting the criminalisation of racialised people who live with mental ill-health or distress, or groups that are campaigning against the surveillance of racialised Muslim communities by Prevent.

We want to resource these groups by commissioning various trainings that might be useful. This could include practical trainings on how to pull together a Freedom of Information request or how to write a funding bid. It might also include workshops on transformative justice, and how to hold conflict within our movements.

We know that campaigning work doesn’t only involve strategy and organising in living rooms, community centres and on the street. There is also an emotional cost to this work as it is about providing emotional support, and it is embedded in relationships and communities. We’d like to offer support around this too, whilst also acknowledging that this work can lead to burnout and vicarious trauma for the organisers. We often talk about collective care, yet struggle to find the time to make sure we receive it.

From feedback from those that applied to our Grants Programme, we came up with a programme of monthly embodied online support spaces. Only offered only to our grantee-partners, they offer a space for people to feel into their bodies, as so often we’re in our heads or problem solving. Somatic approaches such as these, are an approach rooted in Black Healing Justice. At Synergi we want to disrupt the standard individualist, Western way of approaching care by doing things differently.

‘Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare’ Audre Lorde