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2022 Finalist: Radical Self-care (RadSec) from Rainbow Mind

2022 Finalists
May 22, 2024

Working in London and Salford, Rainbow Mind is a mental health service for, led by, and staffed by LGBTQ+ people. It focuses on LGBTQ+ mental health because this demographic is much more likely to experience mental health issues than the rest of the population. By only employing LGBTQ+ staff and therapists, Rainbow Mind understands the challenges LGBTQ+ people often face and is perfectly placed to support them in caring for their mental health. It provides online one-to-one therapy as well as support groups and courses.

The Radical Self-care (RadSec) innovation was born of a desire to bring an intersectional approach to mindfulness and self-compassion that valued and centred a diverse range of cultures and experiences. Seeking to build mindfulness, self-care, and resilience skills to address mental health needs, it aims to develop principles that can ultimately help local and national health and care systems become more aware, compassionate, and socially just. The eight-week programme was initially contextualised and trialled with LGBTQ+ people to address internalised stigma and shame-based self-criticism among the community. And research findings showed significant improvements in participants' psychological health and well-being, so it was expanded to meet the needs of other marginalised groups, especially those from BAPOC communities. People from these communities are underserved by mental health services and underrepresented in the mindfulness space, both as practitioners and teachers. It was found that the RadSec programme resonated with people from minoritised backgrounds, as the courses took an intersectional, culturally appropriate approach. Many from these backgrounds have since trained as teachers.

The judges were excited by RadSec's much-needed step towards making mindfulness more intersectional and trauma-sensitive. And they were impressed by the rigorous testing and data collection that helped develop the programme, which will hopefully benefit others in the field. The judges also considered RadSec's collaboration with the mental health charity Mind an asset and saw significant potential for long-term growth. There was encouragement for RadSec to continue innovating and thinking about moving beyond the eight-week model.


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