You may have heard recently of a young man called Kaleb, that following his battle with mental health issues has sadly passed away. A major lover of beatboxing, Kaleb was always the brightest smile in the room and always took the time to make everybody else happy. He was the life and soul of every party. His loss has reminded us that sadly, this can happen to anyone that we know. Mental Health is a problem that affects us all.
In recent times the number of people suffering with mental health issues has skyrocketed, almost everybody in the country has or will be touched by this issue in some way or another. The most dangerous pandemic we face today is a mental health one. And yet, we as a nation are still so far behind where we should be with regard to tackling this crisis. Funding is low, access to services is nigh on impossible for many and there is still a wave of misunderstanding and stigma surrounding the issue.
To tackle this, we at Helping Hands Training Specialists are committed to raising awareness of mental health, to help to minimise the cavalcade of misunderstandings and destroy the stigma around it. By providing courses on mental health awareness which you can view here. These courses are designed to provide education and understanding where it may be lacking, dispel any misconceptions or myths about mental health, inform about common mental health conditions and discuss how to support ourselves and others in case we face mental health problems in our own lives.
In response to their profound loss, Kaleb’s family wanted to ensure that no tragedies such as this happen again. No family should have to go through the pain that Kaleb’s have because young people cannot access support. With this mission in mind they have founded Kaleb’s Korner - a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support, raising awareness, helping as many people who may be suffering as possible and getting mental health education into schools. A cause we fully support.
Kaleb’s passing has renewed our determination to pass on our specialist practitioner expertise, not just to industry professionals but to everyone. Everybody should have some understanding of the mental health crisis we face today and how best to support themselves and their loved ones.
And so last week we kicked off our campaign to raise awareness and understanding by hosting an event in partnership with Kaleb’s Korner, hosted by The Library. Helping Hands delivered our mental health awareness course to a number of Kaleb’s family and friends. This was a truly special event.
Trainer Phil delivered his expert training course and led discussions about the issues facing us all today. He reflected on the event by stating: “This was a really great reminder of the positive impact we can have on people. People were very responsive and engaged with the discussion and some were even empowered to approach me to discuss some mental health issues that they have been facing. If we can create a safe and understanding atmosphere where people feel secure enough to discuss their problems and not suffer in silence, then we have achieved what we set out to do.” We at Helping Hands are incredibly proud to have fostered such an atmosphere, and are inspired to hold more events like this to have these kinds of positive discussions with as many people as possible.
To provide us with some insight into the challenges facing young people with mental health issues and the journey to recovery, artist Euphoric Recall came and shared his story of his struggle with mental health and how he used art as a positive channel towards recovery:
"A day I will never forget."
“On Saturday I attended an event held by Helping Hands Training Specialists in partnership with Kaleb’s corner and hosted by The Library, the event was focused on mental health, on suicide and on how we can support ourselves and others.
It was honestly a privilege to be asked to the event, to take some of my art, to share my story and to speak with some of the most caring and resilient people I've ever met.
I did my talk which was brief and full of anxiety, but it came across really well. The support from everyone was humbling and helped me push through my anxiety. If me standing up on stage for a few uncomfortable moments resonated with one person then I'd do it a thousand times over.
I sold quite a few pieces and all of the profit will be donated to Mind charity, and again, if those profits bring even a moment's comfort when times are hard, then that is more valuable to me than money ever could be.
I've reflected on events of the weekend and my life experience also, and events like this and causes that we unite against are the reasons I make art, the reasons that I fight and also will fight, I'm privileged to be able to do the work that I am and attend events like this, and for that I will be eternally grateful.”
These beautiful and inspiring words from Euphoric Recall really demonstrate how with a little bit of support and understanding, people who are suffering can find their way past their struggles and turn their lives towards something positive.
Poet Andrew Fraser very kindly did a reading of his poem on mental health: “Strawberry Calpol” in dedication to Kaleb, from his new book “Are we ever?” You can purchase Andrew’s poetry here with all proceeds going to Mind Charity.
Local band The Phasers who have written many songs relating to mental health issues and their own struggles also came down to share their music with us. The art, the poetry and the music really served to show the beauty in a community coming together to fight against the crisis in mental health to try and provide some support for those that are suffering to prevent a tragedy like Kaleb’s from ever happening again. It really does affect us all.
Paige Russell, Kaleb’s cousin and founder of Kaleb’s Korner had this to say of the event: “I can’t thank Helping Hands enough for their help. The talk delivered by Phil was informative and people got involved and it meant so much to my family.
No words will ever comprehend the hurt we feel after losing Kaleb, the hole it has created in our lives is irreplaceable and no family should have to go through this. If we can help one person come forward to get help for themselves or someone they know, that is incredible.
We founded Kaleb’s Korner to be a safe space for people of all ages (but mostly young people) to discuss their mental health issues and to know there’s always someone to talk to.
The stigma around mental health is baffling, people should be able to openly say that they are not okay and need help without judgement or worry of facing ridicule.
Kaleb always wanted to help people, he never wanted anyone to feel left out; if there was someone sitting on their own, Kaleb would be there to make sure they felt included. I couldn’t think of a better way to honour Kaleb and his angelic soul by doing something like this.
We hope to get mental health taught in schools in a safe environment and help protect our young people. Helping Hands share our vision and it means the world. We can’t wait to get started”
We would like to thank everyone that was involved in this beautifully inspiring and important event.
Thank you to The Library by Lounge for kindly hosting this event.
Thank you to Euphoric Recall for some magnificent art work and a profoundly touching story.
Thank you to Andrew Fraser for the evocative poem.
Thank you to The Phasers for the brilliant musical performance.
Thank you to First Shot Media for capturing the day.
Thank you to Ascendant Content for supporting this writing and podcast.
Thank you to Professional Champion Boxer Kane Salvin for showing your support.
And Thank you to Kaleb’s Korner and Kaleb’s family for inspiring us to do more and demonstrate our commitment to saving lives and protecting those who suffer with poor mental health.
It really can happen to anyone. Nobody should suffer alone.
To learn more about Helping Hands’ Mental Health Awareness Course Click here: https://www.helpinghandstrainingspecialists.com/mental-health-awareness
To find support for mental health problems click here: https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/nhs-voluntary-charity-services/charity-and-voluntary-services/get-help-from-mental-health-helplines/
To donate to Mind Charity click here: https://www.mind.org.uk/donate/
To access an audio version of this blog click here: https://www.helpinghandstrainingspecialists.com/podcast/episode/20dec3ee/mental-health-awareness-with-kalebs-korner