Rapper hits out at lack of mental health care forcing young people into crime

Rapper Big Narstie has hit out at a shortfall in mental health care, claiming it is leading to a generation of youngsters being forced into crime.

The musician, 32, acts as an agony uncle for young people through his alter ego, Uncle Pain, on YouTube and is to release a new album, BDL Bipolar, which addresses his own mental health problems.

Writing in The Big Issue, Big Narstie, real name Tyrone Lindo, said he often wants to sit and cry as he urged people to open up about their issues.

“People like myself who are in the public eye can highlight these situations too, and we need to do it,” he wrote.

“With great power comes great responsibility. I want to show people my successful side, but I want to show you my bipolar side too.

“Yeah, sometimes I just want to sit in my boxer shorts and cry. That’s what being a human is. It’s OK to have up days. It’s OK to have down days.”

He added: “But especially remember it’s OK to talk to people and let them know you’re not OK. Don’t think it’s something you have to keep to yourself to fit in or to be normal. There’s no such thing as normal.”

Addressing violence amongst young people, he said it was a “result of their background” and they had “no way of reaching out”.

“You’ve got to look at it like this: in a simple experiment, if you take one child and leave him in a perfect and comfortable environment, and you leave another child in a destructive and aggressive environment, you’ll see different symptoms,” he said.

“Part of the problem is a lot of kids have kids and then can’t cope. If a kid is born into a tough situation with no means of dealing with it, you end up with kids who are mentally ill and have no way of reaching out. How can you hope to get out?

He added: “In London especially, most of the crimes aren’t like old school east end mobster crimes, like grabbing fifty million quid from a train robbery.

“These people are robbing shops for maybe £200, maybe £5,000 at the top end. They’re not about luxury, but survival and desperation.

“You’re broke, crammed in a tight place and you’ve got no release. You’re giving out all the CVs you can and you’re still not getting anything.

“You’re stressed out and want to vent, but you’re trapped.”

The Big Issue is available from June 4.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Ian West / PA Wire.