Aims and Objectives
Panj Pani Radio is run by New Dawn Asian Mental Health, which is a registered charity. Panj Pani Radio works in partnership with Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust and broadcasts from a studio in the grounds of The Tower’s Hospital in Leicester.
The original aim of Panj Pani Radio was to increase and promote the awareness of mental health problems within the Asian communities in Leicester and the surrounding area. The content of Panj Pani Radio to date has reflected this commitment, while the partnership with the LPT has seen the station develop programmes for the community in English and other languages. This content has included supporting and promoting information about people’s general health, well being, mental health and learning disabilities.
Panj Pani Radio has also developed a partnership with Citizens’ Eye Community News Agency which is available to all community organizations in Leicester and Leicestershire to disseminate community based information. Citizens’ Eye provides access to community news and information that rarely reaches the local press and has many partners across the city and county including the City and County Council’s, Health bodies and the Police.
These partnerships have provided opportunities to broaden the focus of Panj Pani Radio to support in promoting the Local Area Agreement priorities of both Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council, especially in the aspects of both that apply to healthier communities, safer communities, stronger communities, children and young people and older people.
Panj Pani Radio is dedicated to developing programmes that seek to involve, inform and consult with local people. It aims to work with groups who are considered hard to reach, or whose voices seem underrepresented in the press. These include asylum seekers, ex-offenders and homeless people. It also seeks to provide information, and develop programmes, by and for younger and older people to deliver content that is considered relevant, important and positive.
Panj Pani Radio provide opportunities for broadcasting experience and the development of new skills within the communities across Leicester. It does this by offering a Confidence in Broadcasting course. These courses seek to involve people who have health or mental health issues or to include representatives of communities that are considered hard to reach.
Panj Pani Radio provides a platform, an environment, an opportunity for activity and for meaningful conversations to take place. Through Social contact and meaningful conversations we aim to drive more open disclosure of mental health problems as a way of changing attitudes and behaviour, and to actively bring people who don’t have mental health problems into contact with those who do. Social contact is the meaningful conversations and sharing of personal experience of mental health problems that take place when these two groups of people meet. By sharing their experience, and allowing a space to talk about mental health, attitudes and behaviour can start to shift. By knowing someone with a mental health problem, or having met someone who is open about it, is one of the most powerful predictors of having more favourable attitudes in relation to mental health. A meaningful conversation is when someone with personal experience of mental health problems shares their experiences with a member of the public and feels they have had an impact on them, however small. Every conversation is different and a meaningful one might be long or short, intense or light-hearted. However, for a conversation to have a real impact, it must involve a genuine exchange of information and sharing of personal experience of mental health problems.
Mental health problems can affect anyone. One in four people are likely to experience a mental health problem every year. This includes conditions such as phobias, depression and anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Estimates predict that by 2020 depression will be second only to heart disease as an international health issue. Despite the widespread nature of mental health issues, almost nine out of ten people affected by them (in England) experience discrimination from employers, families and friends, members of local communities and from health professionals. This makes it harder for them to work, make friends and, in short, live a full and active life. Consequently, People become isolated and they are excluded from everyday activities. It becomes harder to get or keep a job. They feel reluctant to seek help, which makes recovery slower and more difficult hence their physical health gets affected.
Many people say that being discriminated against in work and social situations can be a bigger burden than the illness itself. It has an impact on society and the economy too, when people who can work are denied the opportunity to, and when people are prevented from playing an active role in their communities. Panj Pani Radio work with all local communities to create a society where mental health problems are not hidden in shame and secrecy, where nobody is afraid to speak out about their problems, or left wondering where they can turn for help.