Following an amazing inaugural conference last year, I attended the 2nd Trauma Conference in September 2019 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Islington, London.
BME Voices Talk Mental Health was founded by Helen George. She joined forces with Myira Khan, founder of the Muslim Counsellor and Psychotherapist Network (MCAPN) and together, they created this platform to highlight and reflect some of the issues that their communities face in their lives and in therapy rooms today.
The theme for this year’s conference was‘‘Trauma in our Communities: Are we contributing to the healing?’
The keynote speaker was David Weaver (President of the BACP) and was followed by inspirational talks by outstanding contributors…
Dr Roxanne Khan spoke about mental health, trauma and shame in the South Asian Community, Sharon Frazer energetically engaged us with insight into trans generational trauma in the therapy room and Dr Amira Iqbal spoke about vicarious trauma and self care.
The day was enormously educational and moving, highlighted by the appearance of one Ebinehita Iyere. Her experience working with young women, who have seen the men in their communities killed by gun or knife crime, exposed how their trauma is often unrecognised and unsupported. We saw how she has been able to work alongside this community and offer them support and hope for themselves and the future.
In a presentation largely consisting of music written and performed by the children and young adults she works with, we were confronted by the raw anger, hurt and sadness that they experience.
Ebinehita’s strength of character overlay those voices, daring us to continue to ignore the suffering of this part of our community at our peril. Her passion will stay with me for a long time.
The BME voices is an amazing vehicle in which all therapists, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity can expand the knowledge and skills required to provide a truly diverse practise and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone, black, white, brown, christian, Muslim or agnostic…. and all the rest….to sign up to and come next year.