Beyond the Stigma brought together South Asian women from across Sandwell to share their stories in order to challenge the stigma that surrounds mental health within their communities and encourage others to engage in the conversation. Having good mental health is central to our wellbeing and building strong and resilient communities plays a vital role in this.

This collection was developed by local women during the course of the coronavirus pandemic, a time in which mental health became a hot topic of conversation. Though conversations about mental health are more commonplace in the UK today, we know through our work, there is still widespread stigma within South Asian communities.

Each story is an individual’s journey written in their own words and may include experiences of self-harm, suicide, depression, eating disorders, and substance misuse. The way these women have experienced mental health difficulties is no different to the rest of society. However, their encounter is often set against a background of cultural expectations which include pressures from family relating to gender biased customs.

Click here to read the book