23 April, 2018
Congratulations on your election.
We, the undersigned organisations are calling for an end to unequal provision and access to Mental Health services for Black, Asian and Minority, Ethnic and Refugee (BAMER) communities.
Research has shown that BAMER communities face disadvantage, reduced opportunities and structural and institutional racism (Kindred Minds, 2018: 3). People from BAMER backgrounds with mental health support needs are less likely to have access to suitable services, in particularly primary care, therapeutic and psychosocial services (Keating, Robertson, McCulloch and Francis, 2002; Sashidharan, 2003 in NSUN, 2017), such as counselling or group work that is culturally appropriate, or in community languages, and pathways into secondary mental healthcare services are often too rigid. This leads to increased inequality in the mental health of BAMER communities. Culturally sensitive, holistic mental health services are key to improving mental health outcomes for BAMER people.
This year the Mental Health Act, which governs how people are supposed to be treated and protected, is under review. A January 2018 Care Quality Commission (CQC) report shows that detention rates for the 'Black or Black British' population group are more than four times that for the White population group and 'any other Black background', are over 10 times the rate of the White population group.
Differences in provision between mental and physical health services are also well documented. Creating parity of esteem is supported by all political parties, has been highlighted as a priority by the Prime Minister and Princes William and Harry, and has broad support from the third sector and clinical professionals. Only this month Clare Murdoch, NHS England's National Mental Health Director, ordered Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to increase their spending on services for people with mental health support needs or face sanctions.
We call on all newly elected councillors to commit to the six points below that have been co-authored by Experts by Experience, user-led VCS and BAMER NGOs, to improve the design, commissioning and delivery of mental health services for BAMER communities and, therefore, reduce mental health inequality:
I commit to:
We would be grateful if you could show your support by replying to this open letter by signing up here, and tweeting #MHEquality #MentalHealth4All #HardlyHardToReach
We look forward to receiving your reply and working with you to reduce mental health inequality in your Local Authority.
If you would like further information or organise a meeting, please contact Laurie Lijnders at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Abdullah||Safia||London Borough of Waltham Forest||Miss|
|Ahmed||Fezzan||Jigsaw House||Senior Consultant|
|Ahmed||Yussuf||Islington Somali Community||Mr|
|Ahmed||Solma||Colchester Bangladeshi Women's Group||Member|
|Ali||Abdi||wlmht trust||BME Specialist Advisor|
|Amanuel||Monaliza||Network of Eritrean Women||Project Coordinator|
|Asghar||Naheed||London Borough of Waltham Forest||Councillor|
|Asmail||Muna||Council of Somali Organisations||Mental Health & Wellbeing Advocate|
|Atterton||Candice||London Borough Hounslow||Councillor|
|Bailey||Eloise||London Borough of Merton||Councillor|
|Balachandran||Namagal||10 the rise||Ms|
|Bande||Lily||Sutton West Councillor|
|Bansal||Harjit K||NELFT NHS Foundation Trust||Mrs|
|Barrett||Dan||Thrive LDN||Deputy Lead|
|Baxendale||Dylan||Richmond upon Thames||Cllr|
|Beckles||James||London Borough of Newham||Councillor|
|Bokhari||Hina||London Borough of Merton||Councillor|
|Boothroyd||David||Westminster City Council||Councillor|
|Brazant||Kevin||Daddy CPR LTD||Managing Director and Founder|
|Chadha||Rita||Barking & Dagenham CVS||Ms|
|Chand||Peter||London borough of Barking & Dagenham||Councilor|
|Chard||James||Richmond upon Thames Borough Council||Councillor|
|Chaudri||Komal||London Borough of Hounslow||Cllr|
|Chiriyankandath||James||Haringey Council||Cllr. Dr.|
|Chohan||Jaskiran||London Borough of Ealing||Councillor|
|Chung||David||London Borough of Merton||Councillor|
|Clarke||Barbara||Community Learning & Networking||Executive Director|
|Colburn||Elliot||London Borough of Sutton||Conservative Councillor for Cheam|
|Cousins||Ann-Marie||Greenwich African Caribbean Organisation||Ms|
|Das||Dipa||London Borough of Tower Hamlets||Councillor|
|de Silva||Don||Somali Initiative for Dialogue and Democracy||Trustee|
|Easter||Ann||Newham Council||Rev’d Canon Councillor|