Race on the Agenda (Summer 2009) Agenda 34


  1. From the editor
    Rahana Mohammed, Head of Policy, ROTA
  2. Black, Asian and minority ethnic people and mental health and wellbeing
    Barbara Nea, Senior Policy Officer, ROTA
  3. Mental health and BAME communities – a national perspective
    Melba Wilson, National Programme Lead, Mental Health Equalities National Mental Health Development Unit
  4. Mental health inequalities – a view from the inside
    Lord Adebowale CBE, ROTA Patron and Chief Executive, Turning Point
  5. New government, the public and the next step in tackling multiple needs and exclusions
    Oliver Hilbery, Project Director, MEAM
  6. Beyond tokenism: participation of mental health service users from racialised groups in mainstream user involvement initiatives
    Dr Jayasree Kalathil, Researcher and Writer
  7. Canerows and Plaits – an evaluation
    Dwight Reynolds, Secretary of Canerows and Plaits
  8. After the Bennett case – perspectives and solutions
    Alison Cobb, Senior Policy and Campaigns Officer, Mind
  9. Making our voices heard – three case studies
    Homeland or hostland? a view from the Centre for Armenian Information and Advice Camden Chinese Community Centre – the holistic service
    Tageero – giving help and support to the Somali community
  10. Black communities, mental health and the criminal justice system
    Deryck Browne, NACRO Mental Health Unit
  11. Tackling mental health and racial inequalities in the Big Society
    Patrick Vernon, Chief Executive, Afiya Trust


Black, Asian and minority ethnic people and mental health and wellbeing

Barbara Nea, Senior Policy Officer, ROTA

Setting the scene for this issue of Agenda, Barbara Nea, Senior Policy Officer at ROTA, investigates mental health inequalities in terms of outcomes, and looks at access and experience of using mental health and related services.


The most recent Count Me In census, 1 which monitors the ethnicity of inpatients and people subject to the Mental Health Act, found that 22 per cent are from BAME communities, even though we make up only eight per cent of the general population.

Inpatient admission rates are over three times higher than average among mixed white/black and black groups, with rates nine times higher………..

Read the full article here.


Mental health inequalities – a view from the inside

by Lord Adebowale CBE, ROTA Patron and Chief Executive of Turning Point

Mental health services for BME communities have come a long way. There has been recognition of the historic inadequacies of the interaction between these services and BME communities, as well as acknowledging the need to increase access to early intervention services within mental health.

The fear of mental health services from BME communities has created a barrier which prevents people accessing help when they most need it. The results of the 2009 Count Me In census of inpatients and patients on supervised community treatment in mental health services show this fear is somewhat justified. Barbara Nea's article on page 6 discusses this in more detail.

The tradition of both institutional and overt racism has meant BME communities feel less comfortable accessing mental health services. As a result, mental health problems are more likely to……..

Read the full article here.