Hero film tackles mental health among young Black men

What we achieved

  • Creative

    Approach and Concept Development

  • Production

    Film and Video Production

Black men are 17 x more likely to develop severe mental health problems than any other group. They’re also 4 x more likely to be sectioned under the mental health act. Unfortunately, this is often a result of the systemic racism and the discrimination they experience throughout their lives.

So, we partnered with the NHS and Islington Council to raise awareness of their new Black Men and Mental Health Programme. At its core, the campaign highlights the support that already exists within your community – and encourages more men to get help.

You can watch the full film with captions here.

Mental health among young Black men

NHS and Islington Council’s Young Black Men Mental Health Programme is an innovative approach to tackling mental health inequalities. It includes radical solutions designed to reduce the stigma associated with mental health, effect behaviour change and meaningfully engage young black men.

In fact, insight shows that there is a cultural disconnect between young Black men and institutions. This is often fostered by systemic racism and discrimination, which directly contributes to significantly higher rates of mental health issues.

So, like the programme, we designed the film not to impose new institutional services on them, but to instead shed a light on the trusted support systems they can already find within their community. 

The film tells a story of a young Black man struggling to manage his mental health. In the midst of negative societal perceptions, he faces various challenges in his every day life, cut with conceptual representations of his mental health.

Meanwhile, we also explore his existing support networks that are often overlooked. For example, his family, school counsellor, his coach – even his barber.


We are so pleased with how this film turned out! The team at Raw London took huge amounts of care to ensure authenticity was built at every stage – from the initial strategy and concept right through to production. Not only is the final result absolutely stunning, but every detail is designed to resonate with our intended audience – and we couldn’t be happier.


Director – Transformation, Islington Council

Building authentic connection

Authenticity was a key consideration at every stage of the process; from the initial strategy and creative concept, through to every step of production. This was particularly important here, as we wanted the film to be as relatable as possible for the target audience. 

So, we worked closely with NHS and Islington Council to research and understand real people’s experiences. In fact, every aspect of the film is inspired by learnings from research sessions with young Black men, who shared their wider thoughts on mental health, as well as their own experiences.

For example, the scenes, casting, script and even wardrobes are designed to reflect the reality of their experiences.