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BAME communities’ ‘unequal mental health care’

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The mental health of BAME communities is unequal The mental health of BAME communities is unequal

Black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities are at comparatively higher risk of mental ill health, and disproportionately impacted by social detriments associated with mental illness, a report by the Race and Equality Foundation has found.

Other findings include people from African Caribbean communities are three times more likely to be diagnosed and admitted to hospital for schizophrenia than any other group, whileIrish Travellers are six times more likely to die as a result of suicide than non-Travellers.

‘The literature review has identified some causative factors and practice that could help to address them and improve experiences and outcomes for black and minority ethnic communities. Commissioning needs to understand both the persistent nature of these inequalities, and that there are ways to address them.

According to the report, once in the mental health system, black and minority ethnic people experience further inequalities and discrimination. Poor health conditions of BAME patients is likely to lead doctors to focus on physical conditions despite the fact that some diseases such as cardiovascular, are complicated by depression and other mental health conditions.

Additionally, after being assessed, inequalities persist into treatment, which may further compound the discrimination and inequality already experienced by black and minority ethnic people and affect their recovery.

‘There has also been criticism of an Eurocentric approach to recovery for black and minority ethnic people, as the definition does not take a race equality perspective and look at the external factors that impact on the individual,’ the report’s authors added. ‘Better understanding of cultural and faith beliefs for black and minority ethnic communities will help with designing services to promote recovery.’

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