YPI Spotlight: Hakeem Hall

This month, we’re shining the YPI Spotlight on regular Kickback participant and YP Insight Family member, Hakeem Hall, whose own work reflects the work of YPI, helping people to communicate and feel heard .

For many YP Insight is a healer, a chance for young people to open up about issues in an environment that listens and discusses things in a way that no other offline platform would. Online, you have forums and social media sites to get things off your chest and talk to similar like minded people, but it’s not the same as being in a room with actual people from the same neighbourhood as you. That’s what really drew me to YPI.

Hi, my name Is Hakeem and I’m a support worker for adults with Autism, helping mostly young adults who struggle with communication skills, basic communication that we take for granted. I feel in some way we all struggle to communicate what we truly feel and in result, we act out due to not having the solutions we seek.

The young people I work with who have Autism, their frustration sometimes comes from people not understanding or listening to their needs and problems, so they can get frustrated and anxiety goes high. I feel it’s very similar to the young people in our community and their problems; it can feel like no one has the answers or choose to ignore the problems at hand. Through my work I feel it’s very relatable to what Shaniqua is doing with YPI, which is probably what attracted me. With mental health being such a widespread issue, it’s hugely important that our young people have somewhere they can go and just open up about topics they usually keep bottled up, or share but feel falls short on deaf ears.

As well as looking after our mental health wellbeing, I feel it’s just as important to concentrate on our physical health – what we put in our bodies affects the way we think, our moods and overall emotions. People think controlling what we eat is mainly for keeping a good physical appearance, but the foods we eat also play a huge role in how we feel on the inside, how we function with day to day activities. A poor diet can lead to more than obesity; it can also affect anxiety levels, depression, all things connected with mental health issues, so striking the right balance is vital.

Educating young people with the knowledge of self-care and wellbeing could help this generation hugely. With the wealth of information at our disposal these days compared to what was available in are elders’ days, never has there been a better time than now for the young people to be heard – to get our points across that could hugely benefit the next generation.

I feel YPI is on the right path to giving our young society the tools to spread the wealth and knowledge that they have learned and pass it on. We all have our own roles to play in making today a better tomorrow and I try to play my part by helping educate on topics revolving around health, self-care and wellbeing. YPI is a platform that I think over time will have a variety of young people, like myself, that can reach wider audiences through various outlets such as workshops, forums and events that are already on offer. What Shaniqua has achieved with Young People Insight is truly remarkable and I can’t wait to see where it goes as I see leaders being equipped with the right ammunition to tackle situations that affect are society today and leading into the future.

Stay updated with what Hakeem is getting up to by following him on Instagram (@chuckle.hakz) and Twitter (@hakz19)

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