Leicester-based charity hosts events to support people’s mental health
By Amina Ali
Charity Jamila’s Legacy is hosting events for people in Leicestershire wanting to improve their mental health.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Rehana Sidat, set up the charity in dedication to a woman named Jamila who died as a result of neglect after struggling with her mental health for many years.
“I vowed that I would start Jamila’s Legacy in her name so that we address that mental health sigma and so that, hopefully, things like this don’t happen again and people do have somewhere to go to,” she said.
“Demand was increasing after COVID.”
After several years of running the charity, Rehana set it up last May to be a Community Interest Company, which is a company set up for the benefit of a community, due to the increase in demand for its services that she had seen.
“Social media grew really big; the sessions grew from once a week to twice a week to three times a week!” she explained.
As a result of this boom in demand, Jamila’s Legacy now runs The Womens Mental Health Wellbeing Project twice a week at The Highfields Library in Melbourne Road and the African Caribbean Centre in Maidstone Road.
The charity also runs Mental Wellbeing Mondays twice a month for men and women at the John Lewis Café space in Bath House Lane.
Other projects include monthly Time Out Sundays for those wanting to prioritise their mental health, monthly online Men’s Mental Health sessions, The Young People’s Project and training courses.
“Jamila’s Legacy is about prevention and early intervention so that we don’t get to crisis point, we don’t get to those points like what happened to Jamilla?,” said Rehana.
“What I would say to anybody reading this who’s struggling, please, please do seek help.
“Don’t keep ignoring it, because the problem with that is that your mental health will deteriorate and before you know it, you’re in a situation where you’re having to have greater support than what you would’ve needed.”