Chart-topper Professor Green was guest of honour at Writing on the Wall’s prize giving ceremony last night.
The event, held at Liverpool Central Library, celebrated the second year of the Mental Health & Me contest; a competition centred around the subject of mental distress.
The MOBO award winning artist, real name Stephen Manderson, was on hand to present the prize to the overall winner of the competition; Pat Fearon, for her Spoken Word entry, The Edge.
“For those of us who do find writing as a form of expression that we enjoy, we’re extremely lucky,’ he explained before announcing the winner. “It helps you get what you have inside, out. For some it’s not writing; it’s performing, it’s dance, drawing, painting – it’s any form of art. But finding a form of expression is great way to start a healing process. For me, I got a lot less angry when I found a voice.”
This isn’t the first time the rapper, currently on tour supporting Fall Out Boy, has spoken about mental health issues. Having lost his dad to suicide, he has spoken openly about his own battles with depression and anxiety and is a patron for CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably.
“It was quite a while after the first album (that I started speaking about mental health issues),” he revealed to over 100 guests. “I did an interview and I was asked a really simple question: ‘How did your father’s death affect you?’ I hadn’t really thought about it, but I guess looking back I know I began making better decisions after what happened and I started to become a lot more self aware – I didn’t want to end up in the same poisition as my dad who took his own life. It’s a lot easier in the beginning to ignore it and pretend it’s not there, but it is, and at that point I had to accept that and start doing some work on myself and turn my life around.”
Prior to Professor Green’s star appearance, runners up and winners from all seven catergoires were honoured on stage; with former Lord Mayor Gary Millar and MP Luciana Berger amongst those presenting the awards.
Having recently been appointed the Shadow Minister for Health, Luciana used her time on stage to outline just how she’ll be working towards reducing the stigma attached to mental health in her new position.
“I can promise you that I am committed to doing two things over the next five years up to the General Election in 2020. First, holding the government accountable for all the promises it has made. Secondly, to develop a world-class mental health programme to be implemented by the next Labour government” the MP for Wavertree pledged to the audience.
Luciana’s post, which is Cabinet-level, is a new creation of Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow administration and currently has no identical counterpart in the Conservative government.
Mental Health & Me is a yearly competition ran by both Writing on the Wall and Liverpool Mental Health Consortium
Tomorrow is World Mental Health Day and it will be marked by a day-long festival in Williamson Square, Liverpool from 10am. For more information click here.