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Antonio Ferreira – Hear me Speak


Antonio Ferreira is a mental health and anti-racism activist who was able to launch his ‘Hear Me Speak’ campaign with the help of a small grant from Bayo. 


The campaign called on the Independent Office for Police Conduct, the Mayor's Office for Policing And Crime, The National Police Chiefs' Council, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, the College of Policing, the Home Secretary and the Home Office to strengthen legislation, guidance, and training around policing within a mental health crisis and crucially, to involve those with lived experience in shaping this legislation, direction and training.


Having personally experienced the treatment by police during a mental health crisis, António hopes that through 'Hear Me Speak', this reform will be shaped from start to end by lived experience. He believes that the police need to hear about real experiences in order to improve, so he has collected stories about the experience of police intervention during a mental health crisis.


“When the police found me, after having been talked down from the edge of a bridge by a stranger, they treated me like a criminal. I was quickly restrained, handcuffed, and eventually taken to a local hospital to be sectioned.”

– Jonny Benjamin MBE, award-winning mental health campaigner, film producer, public speaker, writer and vlogger


The hardest part for me was when a police van showed up, and I had to sit in the back of it (when I was sectioned under the Mental Health Act). It was probably the most embarrassing moment in my life, sitting in the back and feeling like a criminal. I felt like the police were very blunt, asking me closed questions – like I was being questioned for a crime. This is probably the worst thing for someone who is already psychologically vulnerable – it just makes them feel 1,000 times worse.”

– Anonymous


At the time the police were called, they were advised that it was a mental breakdown that was going on and that I wasn’t of sound mind. Nothing that I was doing was my own doing nor was I aware of it. The police attended on those occasions and treated me as a suspect of crimes instead of attending to my mental health.”

– Loti Nambombe, Relationship Manager, MLKFluencers


Preparing resources and assets for the campaign was imperative to maximise impact. With the Bayo Small Grant that Antonio was awarded, he was able to work with a creative company to produce a website and brand identity for the campaign. Additionally, he was able to make a video for the campaign to be used at the launch. He was also able to have a social media toolkit developed.


The essential resources and assets created allowed the campaign to be recognised, reshared and referred to in the UK. The campaign will rely on social media to gain traction and pressure the organisations to respond and act. The hope is that people with power, influencers, celebrities, and leading organisations will support the campaign.


‘Hear me speak' is supported by a youth mental health charity, Beyond


Antonio sent his loving thanks to the BAYO team for their kind consideration of his application. He hopes the campaign will start a systemic and longer-term change, particularly for racialised communities.


You can find out more about the 'Hear Me Speak' campaign on their website. 


The launch video is available to watch here.

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