Leigh-Anne Pinnock: Conversations with my friends
This article was first published in May 2021.
Leigh-Anne Pinnock is best-known as being one third of pop powerhouse, Little Mix. But recently Leigh-Anne has decided to use her fame to highlight some issues very close to her heart in the new BBC Three documentary Leigh-Anne: Race, pop and power.
Here, Leigh-Anne talks over dinner to some of her life-long friends about their different experiences of racism.
If you have been affected by racism
We asked Kadra Abdinasir from the Centre for Mental Health for her advice on how to look after your mental health if you have been affected by racism. Here are Kadra's tips:
You should speak to someone about your experiences such as a parent, carer or teacher. You could also speak to your GP or school nurse.
There are a range of free and confidential helplines and services online. See below for some links.
Try and block or filter out content online that negatively impacts the way you feel. Take a break from social media if you feel it's getting a bit much and switch off from your phone one hour before bedtime, so it doesn't impact your sleep.
If you feel that racism is affecting your mental wellbeing, try and do something you enjoy every day to take your mind off things.
Research your heritage and culture, as this can be a powerful tool to help you to understand yourself better. There are many groups and organisations you can join to connect with others who want to campaign against racism. This can make you feel supported and may ease your worries.
If you need support
You should always tell someone about the things you’re worried about. You can tell a friend, parent, guardian, teacher, or another trusted adult. If you're struggling with your mental health, going to your GP can be a good place to start to find help. Your GP can let you know what support is available to you, suggest different types of treatment and offer regular check-ups to see how you’re doing.
If you’re in need of in-the-moment support you can contact Childline, where you can speak to a counsellor. Their lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
There are more links to helpful organisations on BBC Action Line.
You can watch the documentary Leigh-Anne: Race, pop and power here. Please note there is some strong language in the programme, some discriminatory language and content some viewers may find offensive.