Sheffield Methods Institute partnered in public symposium about youth violence, masculinity and mental health

On the 9th of June Dr Will Mason of the Sheffield Methods Institute co-hosted a public symposium focused on the topic of Youth Violence, Masculinity and Mental Health.

Intersections eventThis dynamic and innovative event brought together practitioners, academics, decision makers and members of the general public, to discuss the intersections between serious youth violence, masculinity and mental health, for the communities most affected. Organised in collaboration with the University of Sheffield, the Lord Mayor of Sheffield and two of his chosen charities Unity Gym Project & Sheffield Flourish, this half-day event offered a unique opportunity to engage in critical conversation about this very difficult and pertinent social issue.

Special guests included the live performance artist Sipho Ndlovu (with KOG and the Zongo Brigade) and a keynote from Temi Mwale, director of the London based youth organisation, 4FRONT.

Key themes throughout the day included experiences of exclusion within the city and institutional racism in educational settings and communities. The lack of resources to develop and connect the services dedicated to supporting young people locally was also a recurring topic.

Feedback from the day has been unanimously positive, with 100% of respondents feeling that they learned something from attending the event, which was beneficial to them both personally and professionally.

Delegates were in favour of creating more safe spaces for people to express themselves freely and campaigning for investment in front line services, as well as needing honesty and transparency in education when tackling difficult issues such as racism, vulnerability, mental health and other stigmas.

[I will] be the one to initiate conversations about race where appropriate in order to better understand others perspectives and incorporate learning into my own professional and personal interactions... I hope to increase my 'cultural competence' and understanding, become more aware of my privilege and impact and promote equality and opportunity wherever possible

Anonymous feedback from intersections attendee

When asked if they were likely to do anything differently in their work as a result of experiencing this event, people felt that they would be able to start to have difficult conversations that they may have otherwise shied away from and they would look to work more inclusively with different communities in the future.

Another major theme coming through in the feedback was the desire to build stronger networks and to be aware of and try to work against institutional racism and exclusion. One feedback response expressed a wish to “bare witness [to] institutional racism and work harder to build [and] extend partnerships creatively to find positive ways forward” and another simply stated “there's a lot of hurt going unaddressed in young people today”.  One delegate shared how“[I will] be the one to initiate conversations about race where appropriate in order to better understand others perspectives and incorporate learning into my own professional and personal interactions...I hope to increase cultural competence and understanding, [and] become more aware of my privilege and impact and promote equality and opportunity wherever possible"

Despite tackling serious issues the event was a very positive experience for many and has received some great feedback including this write up in The Sheffield Star. Key messages from the event will be written and published as a short report by the event organisers.

Check out some of our pictures below as well as some of our Twitter interactions and events that ran though out the day.  As always, your comments are welcome so tweet us @sheffmethods to get involved.

 The event was funded and supported by the Public Engagement team at the University of Sheffield

Intersections Event

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Temi and Magid

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Unity Gym

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