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Interview:  Lauren Demir
Collages: Annie Mcgill

Dark Matter is a new event focusing and raising awareness on social topics. This Sunday they are concentrating on mental health issues in order to create a deeper understanding. Teaming up with charities Sane and Mind Org, all donations raised from the event will go towards helping the cause. Within the UK, 1 in 10 young people are affected by a mental health problem, with 1 in 4 experiencing at least one diagnosable problem in their lives. Mental health problems can be caused by biological factors, life experiences or family history and can affect people differently from; anxiety, self harm, depression, to psychosis such as Schizophrenia. Despite a range of people being affected, it is somehow still seen as a taboo subject in many communities isolating those suffering. Although in very recent times there has been light shed on the topic with MrExposed’s documentary Being Black, Going Crazy?, Kid Cudi's open letter to his fans on his mental state and the Kanye West speculation. This subject matter being more open allows people to share their individual stories and inform and educate others on the topic. Dark Matter Mental Health exhibition are bringing together people in order to further the conversation through the use of art and discussion. With mental heath being close to many peoples hearts its bound to be both a positive and meaningful night for a good cause. We caught up with the event planners, Dwayne and Patience to find out more about the night and what it means to them. 

ABOUT DARK MATTER MENTAL HEALTH EXHIBITION

Dwayne:[Mental health is]  unrepresented in our  culture. A lot of young people take their lives, predominantly males, especially young black males. I’ve realised a lot of people are going through stuff and they are looking for help but they don’t know where to turn, or how to address the issue or how to help[someone].  We want to create a conversation and do something with the energy of the people and the artists. Everyone at the event can spread awareness, that there is help. There are more established charities, such as Sane and Mind Org out there. There are newer organisations such as Recover that specifically like to help black communities. So if people ever think that their life is over or they want to take their life there they might turn to a charity instead.

Patience: We don’t want people to feel alone but to for them to find courage. This is not the 1st time this has been done, hopefully we can keep this conversation going. People should feel more comfortable to speak up to people that they know personally. Even on social media a lot of people are starting to interact with their followers and just be honest. [Everyone involved] understood how important the topic is and we are getting so much support. The night is about having a really good time. I haven’t seen all the acts perform live. I think a lot of us can look forward to that. We want to inspire people really, we want everyone to come and leave feeling more positive.

D: When we started to plan the event [mental health] became more prominent. People are talking about it in the media, social media, in life and it’s becoming better. MrExposed did his documentary which helped shine some light, Kid Cudi was going through stuff which exposed more light and most recently Kanye West who is going through some stuff is exposing even more light. We ensured we worked with genuine charities and they [Mind Org, Sane] have been a great help. You will see when you’re there they’ve sent us stuff thats really good. Its very important to ensure that you care about what your’e doing. I’m not an expert of mental health but around us there are people going through it. Its important to let people and ourselves know that there are places to go and people to speak to and things you can do to help change your life. The title Dark Matter, is for what were looking to do in the future, focus on the subjects that people don’t want to talk about and ignore.

If you are or know anyone suffering from mental health issues here are some free helplines that are there to help;

The Mix: For under 25's, 0808 808 4994

Samratians: 116123

Calm Zone: Young men 15-35, 0800 58 58 58

(sources)

http://www.youngminds.org.uk/training_services/policy/mental_health_statistics

https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health/

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