Derek Owusu was born in London in 1988. His new book, That Reminds Me, is published by Stormzy’s #Merky Books and is a novel-in-verse that explores identity, belonging, his experience of growing up in foster care, and his mental breakdown last year. Owusu edited the anthology Safe: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space (2019) and is a marketing executive for audio at Penguin Books.
Do you feel attitudes towards men’s mental health are being destigmatised?
I think we’re destigmatising particular mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. But then you don’t get many men talking about personality disorders or schizophrenia. The mental health issues that people find scary aren’t talked about – that’s where the conversation needs to go.
Image of Derek Owusu by Suki Dhanda