A Black teenage boy wearing a hearing aid bumping fists with a young Black man outside a front door.

Celebrating Black Disabled stories

We know from speaking to Disabled young people that they are more disproportionately affected by mental health struggles. And for Black Disabled young people, racism and inequalities can make their experience of mental health more complex.

Here are a few things that Black Disabled young people told us help them to feel hopeful and reassured about their future.

  • content that celebrates their whole identity
  • content that they can relate to
  • content that is honest and real

Everything you’ll find on this page has been created by Black Disabled young people and content creators. Their content is honest, real and personal to their experiences.

Whether you identify as being Disabled or not, we want this page to provide you with hope, joy and reassurance that every part of your identity can and should be celebrated. 

A young Black woman in a wheelchair talking to a young Black man on a bench in the park. The woman is laughing while the man explains something.

Charis's story

How my deaf and autism diagnosis changed my life

Watch this video to hear Charis' story in their own words or watch a short version.

Video description: Charis is a Black young person wearing glasses and a blue jumper. They are standing in a room and telling their story using British Sign Language.

7 minute watch

Play Video: How my Deaf and Autism diagnosis changed my life How my Deaf and Autism diagnosis changed my life
I didn't know who I was, why I'm different, why I can't socially interact with other people easily, constantly questioning myself. But finally, I understood why, everything made sense and my mind went quiet.
Charis

A few short daily reminders

You matter

Video description: Charis is a Black young person wearing a black t-shirt and glasses. They are in a room with plants and books and are sharing a message in British Sign Language. The message is 'Oh hi, here’s a reminder in case you don’t believe this. You matter, you are important, you’re loved and you living on this earth right now makes a difference whether you see it or not. Every morning, remind yourself of this ok.'

30 second watch

Play Video: Everything in life is temporary Everything in life is temporary

Every situation is temporary

Video description: Charis is a Black young person wearing a green cardigan and glasses. They are in a room with plants and books and are sharing a message in British Sign Language. The message is 'Everything in life is temporary, so when life is good make sure you enjoy and receive it fully. And when life isn’t good remember that it will not last forever and better days are on the way. And staying positive does not mean you have to be positive all the time because that is not possible. It means that even in the hard days, there are better days coming.'

40 second watch

More from Charis and other helpful advice

Read more about Charis’s experiences and find help in our guide.

You can also find more content from Charis on their Instagram and TikTok.

 

Josiah's story

Life as a young Black wheelchair user with chronic pain

Video description: Josiah is a Black young man and he's travelling through a pedestrianised high street in a wheelchair as he raps to the camera. He's wearing a navy hoodie and a blue and red sleeveless jacket.

60 second watch

"Hey everyone, it's Josiah Oyawale here with my track, 'Rings'. This one's about the ups and downs of life as a young Black wheelchair user dealing with the chronic pain of MPS Type 4a. ♿️💥 I'm talking about the stares, the judgments, but I'm flipping the script. My bars? They're all about resilience, perspective, and staying true to myself. Big shout out to the mandem and the creative affiliates keeping me sane. 🎤💯 👑✊🏾 #BlackExcellence #DisabledAndProud #MentalHealthMatters
A young Black teenage boy wearing a hearing aid. He is laughing with a young Black man in the park.

More from Josiah

Read more about Josiah's experience of disability, trauma and abuse in his blog.

Half pint: overcoming domestic abuse through strength and resilience
To anyone dealing with mental health challenges, remember: you're royalty in your own right. Keep pushing, keep shining, and let's rise up together.
Josiah

Femi's story

A picture of Femi wearing a yellow hat and yellow top and smiling at the camera.

Femi is wearing a yellow jumper and yellow hat. He is smiling to the camera.

Hi! I’m Femi, and I’m a Disabled filmmaker who loves nothing more than telling and amplifying unrepresented stories. When I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at 16, I thought my life was over. I couldn’t see past how much I would struggle and I thought that my whole life would be marred by all the suffering I would go through. And I won’t lie, it has been tough and there has been some moments I didn’t know how I would get through - but I’ve also had so so much joy and moments I couldn’t have dreamed of. I’ve travelled, I’ve climbed Snowdon, I’ve fallen in love and gotten engaged. I’ve had so many moments of joy and I have no doubt I’ll be blessed with many more.

Femi's spoken word poetry

Video description: Femi, a Black young man shares his life experiences over a variety of scenes. This includes Femi looking at a picture of himself as a teenager, opening a letter detailing his diagnosis of Crohn's Disease and Femi lying in his bed exhausted from the medication he's taken, playing video games with his partner, receiving hopeful messages from the Crohn's Disease community on his phone.

2 minute watch

A gentle reminder for whenever you're struggling

Video description: Femi, a Black young man is sitting in a green space. He is wearing a salmon coloured jumper and burgundy trousers. 

30 second watch

You’re not a burden, you’re never asking too much and you’re not weak for showing your vulnerability. You’re strong and you deserve to be loved for all of you.
Femi

Amelia's story

My ADHD diagnoses

Video description: Amelia is a Black young woman, and she’s talking to the camera. She has dark hair and is wearing a grey jumper.

90 second watch

Why ADHD needs rebranding

Video description: Amelia is a Black young woman, and she’s talking to the camera. She has dark hair and is wearing a black t-shirt.

90 second watch

You’re not alone. There are so many people on this journey including me. Life does get better as you begin to understand yourself more and live in a way that suits your brain.
Amelia
Three people sitting on a sofa chatting.

More support and advice

Guide to ADHD and mental health

Simi's story

Simi is a Black young person and they are wearing a Black tuxedo with bow tie whilst sitting in their wheelchair and smiling.

Simi is smiling while sitting down in her wheelchair. She is wearing a Black tuxedo with a bow tie.


My name is Simi and I’m a Black, Disabled, queer person. To some people, that sentence alone is too much. I am too much. But every part of my identity makes me who I am and who I am is a strong, hard-working, confident creative.

I’m a professional writer, performer, public speaker, and disability rights activist. I perform and write my own spoken word poetry as well as short stories, poems, and novels. I am a permanent wheelchair-user with no mobility in my wrists and fingers. I am Jamaican-British and queer.

Clapback: A short story of Black Disabled empowerment

I hope this Afrofuturistic take on ball culture speaks to the Black, Disabled, queer youth of today. We so rarely get to see ourselves as heroes in sci-fi or in stories where we aren’t struggling with our crip identity. Kamaria knows who she is, and I hope you do too. The beauty and power our crip bodies hold is beyond imagination. Our unique minds, senses, and physiques are true magic.
A short note from Simi

Sylvia's story

My sight loss journey

Video description: Sylvia is wearing a yellow top and doing her makeup in her living room, while talking to the camera. She has dark brown and red hair and decorates her hair with a few metallic gold accessories. 

3 minute watch

I was so worried about what my extended family would think of me, especially being from an African background and disability being so taboo.
Sylvia

Jaleel's story

Jaleel is in a park in front of a big green tree. They have positioned their arms to create a heart shape.

Jaleel is a Black young person and they are in a big, open green space. They've created a heart shape using their arms. 

When I was first diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, it was early days of me taking daily naps, but still pushing myself to be present in my friendship groups, to still be the same bubbly Jaleel people knew and loved.

It’s taken many, many years of understanding my illness, to realise I can still be present in my friendship groups, and that it’s okay to make these suitable changes that allow me to have fun without putting my health on the sidelines.
Jaleel
Two black young people having a picnic in a park. The character on the left in an amputee and the character on the right has a mobility aid.

Two Black young people having a picnic. The character on the left has an amputated arm and the character on the right has a mobility aid.

3 Black young people are playing video games together.

Three Black young people are playing a video game. The character on the right hand side is wearing a hearing aid and the middle character is in their wheelchair.

I wanted to create illustrations that reflect the life I still live, even with my disability. Things may have to be changed or adapted, but that doesn’t stop me from making time to have cute day trips with friends in the park, or organising a chill game night with pizza. Maintaining a social life continues to remind me that these moments are where my personality shine, and I am still the same person - regardless of my illness.
A young Black man smiling in the park.

Share your story

You can share your own story or advice by writing a blog that will be featured on our website. Your blog can be anonymous if you prefer to not have your name shown.

Find out more