Black Artists and Male Mental Health

Learn more about the Black artists using their music as a platform to open up mental health conversations in the music industry…


Conversations surrounding mental health have grown in volume over recent years as our society has become more accepting of mental health problems and increasingly supportive of those with issues.

Black men's mental health is a key area for mental health practitioners. Evidence from the Care Quality Commission has shown how Black men are more likely than their white counterparts to be diagnosed with a severe mental health disorder. 

Further findings from the commission have revealed how this demographic of society is far more likely to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act and at higher risk of experiencing serious psychological distress. Stigma surrounding mental health, historical trauma, stereotypes surrounding masculinity - these issues and more all combine into a challenging environment for Black males. 

black male mental health resources

ICMP support services

The ICMP Disability and Wellbeing team aims to offer a safe, non-judgmental space for students to enable them to come and talk about any challenges impacting their student experience and overall wellbeing.

We offer Togetherall, a safe space online for when you are feeling down or struggling with your mental health and wellbeing. It's a service designed to help you feel better and take control. Togetherall is safe, totally anonymous and there are trained counsellors online to support you 24/7.

Find out more about our team can support you. 

Breaking the silence

For Black men and society as a whole, providing safe spaces to discuss mental health is hugely important in reducing any negative associations or stigmas surrounding mental health discussions. 

ICMP’s community endeavours to provide platforms and opportunities to discuss any issues to create a positive mental health environment - one where looking for support is considered to be an indication of strength, not weakness. 

Black mental health artist and advocates

Many Black British artists have been among those to speak out about their own issues and troubles in their music and have played a very influential role in reducing any stigma.


UK songwriter, rapper and artist Dave - who has worked with ICMP alumnus Fraser T Smith - has been a powerful force for good in Black men’s mental health. His 2019 debut album, ‘Psychodrama’, opens with ‘Psycho’ and Dave talking with his therapist. It goes on to explore his past, the environment he grew up in, his childhood, mental health challenges and more.

Dave London rapper Image Credit: SamuelWren98 | Wikipedia

The album debuted at number one in the charts and achieved numerous awards including the Brit Award for Album of the Year.  

Loyle Carner 

Hip hop artist Loyle Carner has been an active campaigner for improving mental health as an ambassador for charities such as CALM and Black Minds Matter.

Loyle Carner ArtistImage Credit: Alexander Kellner | Wikipedia

In an interview with Sky, he said: "It saddens me that people go, 'wow, I can't believe you talk about how you feel', because I would love every young man to talk about how they feel. If we did, we would prevent more young men taking their own lives, for example. So yeah. I was surprised and saddened by it."

He was one of the champions of a previous CALM campaign called the #BestManProject where men were encouraged to tell their friends how much they appreciate them. His music has also been critically acclaimed with most recent album, ‘Hugo’, receiving a nod for the Mercury Prize. 

Jordan Stephens

As one half of Rizzle Kicks and acclaimed solo artist, Jordan Stephens has been a pop star with myriad hits to his name. Perhaps more recently, he’s a familiar face on our screens as a presenter and mental health campaigner. 

Jordan Stephens-mens-mental-healthImage Credit: Sean Reynolds | Wikipedia

#IAMWHOLE is a British anti-stigma mental health campaign developed in partnership with the NHS and YMCA and is fronted by Jordan. 

In an interview with the Guardian, he said: “It’s so important for everybody to see themselves represented in conversations around mental wellbeing, especially those whose circumstances may bring more psychological unrest. Grief is a language everyone speaks. Love is a language everyone speaks. They are two sides of the same coin.”


Stormzy is one of the UK’s most exciting and innovative musical stars. Not only has he worked with ICMP talent but ever since he emerged in 2014 as a grime MC, his star has been very much in the ascendance with three brilliant albums, including the most recent, last year’s number one, ‘This is What I Mean’. 

Stormzy on Mens Mental HealthImage Credit: Frank Schwichtenberg | Wikipedia

In an interview with British Vogue, Stormzy has spoken about some of the themes he explores in this new record, including his attempts to move beyond conventional stereotypes surrounding masculinity. 

In the interview, he said: “Back when I was younger, my idea of masculinity was always rooted in violence: whoever could fight; whoever was more willing to go the extra mile to protect their name. But what we learnt about being men, about having all the girls and all the money and the violence, didn’t turn out to be real manhood for me – it was somewhat the opposite.”

I found confidence and strength in my vulnerability. Saying ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I love you’. Taking accountability. Strengthening my relationship with God. Spending time with my nephews. We had to unlearn and redefine what we were taught being a man was.”

Kojey Radical

Spoken-word poet and rapper Kojey Radical has been an underground British star whose musical promise was cemented in 2022 with the release of his debut album, ‘Reasons to Smile’. The album’s title track features the vocal talents of ICMP alumna Tiana Major9 and tackles his own mental health and struggles with depression. 

Kojey Radical Black Mens mental healthImage Credit: Raph_PH | Wikipedia

In an interview with Red Bull, he said: “I realised what I was going through was depression and [bad] mental health. From that, I realised [there were ways] I could combat it and help myself. I remember one day thinking about how a lot of my projects end on a low point – they always end with the protagonist being in this dark space. But then I thought about how there’s a celebration in that realisation.” 

He has also worked with Jordan Stephens’ mental health movement #IAMWHOLE to champion mental health conversations. 

Online resources and support groups 

One of the key ways forward is to improve access to support services sensitive to the experiences of Black men. 

Because the rates of mental health needs are increasing among Black men, it is important to try and remove some barriers regarding diagnosis and treatment. There are organisations and groups putting time and energy into overcoming this and we’ve shared details of some below. You can also read our previous blog on 10 resources for Black creatives

Black Artist Database

bad-logo_0.pngBlack Artist Database (formerly known as Black Bandcamp) is a community-based platform, hosting a wealth of international Black-owned record labels, artists, producers and bands. 

This crowd-sourced database provides an easy way to search, filter and directly support the creative output of Black artists globally, via their online profiles. The database is a continuous work-in-progress maintained by volunteers and paid administrators.

Find out more

100 Black Men of London

100-black-men.pngThe 100 Black Men of London is a community-based charity led by Black men delivering programmes and activities focused on Mentoring, Education, Economic Empowerment, and Health & Wellness.

Find out more

Black Minds Matter UK 

bmm-logo.pngBlack Minds Matter UK is a fully registered charity connecting Black individuals and families with free therapy by qualified and accredited Black therapists.

Find out more


mind.pngMind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. The charity campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. Learn more about the work it undertakes with young Black men. 

Find out more

The Black, African and Asian Therapy Network (BAATN)

baatn.pngBAATN is the UK’s largest independent organisation to specialise in working psychologically, informed by an understanding of intersectionality, with people who identify as Black, African, South Asian and Caribbean. 

Find out more

Black Learning Achievement and Mental Health

blam.pngFormerly a charity set up in 2017, Black Learning Achievement and Mental Health is now a not-for-profit organisation that provides both education and mental health support.

Among its list of aims, the organisation explains it is committed to improving the “mental health and wellbeing of peoples of African descent”, of delivering a “comprehensive and decolonised education” and supporting the “social inclusion of the black British community”.

Find out more

Help Musicians


Help Musicians is an independent UK charity for professional musicians. The organisation helps at times of crisis, but also at times of opportunity, giving people the support they need 

at the crucial stages that could make or break their career.

Find out more


i-am-whole.pngWhole is a mental health campaign aiming to move beyond mental health stigma. Launched by Jordan Stephens and Spirit Studios, the initiative wants to encourage young people to speak out and seek support. 

Find out more

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October 26, 2023
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