Black excellence

Meet Kirsty Latoya Peters: The British creative using art to start discussions about mental health

TACKLING STIGMAS THROUGH ART: One of Kirsty Latoya’s pieces

MEET KIRSTY Latoya Peters, a British creative using art to start discussions about mental health.

When the 24-year-old’s mother died earlier this year, she was offered therapy, but had been dealing with depression for many years prior.

“I went through a long stage of depression and I didn’t receive as much support for it as I thought I would, so that was a bit difficult as I had to deal with most of it on my own,” she told BuzzFeed News.

She stopped drawing following her mother’s death, but when a friend encouraged her to take up her childhood passion again, she said it became her ‘therapy’ and found it helped her deal with her own mental health.

SPEAKING OUT: Kirsty Latoya

BuzzFeed noted that according to a 2013 NHS report, African-Caribbeans in England, especially young people, are more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act – forcibly admitted to hospital, and treated without their consent – than their white counterparts.

Through her art, the south London illustrator is raising awareness about mental health and the lack of support for black women and the black community.

Last year, Kirsty Latoya’s artwork formed part of Unmasked Women, an exhibition in London that aims to create a space for black women to talk openly about mental health.

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