The Bushra Ali EDI Network Foundation welcomed equality and diversity campaigner and mental health advocate Julian Harrison for a mental health seminar, which the Life Links team attended. The event hosted at Madani School brought together members of the Leicester community for an honest and open conversation about Men’s mental health in particular.
Julian opened the event with a powerful speech highlighting the tragic story of German National team goalkeeper Robert Enke who lost his life in 2009 after battling depression. Julian then spoke about Nick Colley, a Footballer vilified in 2003 for lying publicly about having stomach cancer. The truth was that he has suffering from depression, however was too ashamed to admit it. Julian then reflected on how the world of sport is more proactive in creating a supportive environment for individuals who are struggling to manage their mental health.
Julian then discussed his own battle with the ‘black dog’, depression. This had led to him giving up coveted jobs over twenty years ago to standing on the edge of a bridge in Latvia, before stepping back and rebuilding himself again.
After his speech, Julian invited questions from the audience who engaged on a whole host of topics. This included organisational pressures regarding mental health, prison and young people’s mental health, as well as touching on mental health support provision on a national scale. The event was fantastically organised and gave Life Links the opportunity to advertise our men’s mental health peer support group.