Mental Health Services: Ethnic Groups

(asked on 2nd July 2015) - View Source

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, following the Ethnic Inequality and Mental Health Consultation by Lankelly Chase Foundation, what efforts they are making to address the dissatisfaction felt within the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic mental health sector with the Government's lack of commitment to address ethnic inequalities in mental health.

This question was answered on 14th July 2015

Everyone should be able to access mental health services according to need. However, we know that there are inequalities in the access to mental health services. For example, older adults, men, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities and those who are Deaf are not accessing services in the numbers predicted by prevalence studies. The National Health Service is leading on work on equality of access. We are listening to people with experience of mental health within BAME communities and continuing to make the changes needed to ensure equality throughout mental health services.

There are no plans to make additional resources available for mental health services in BAME communities. However, planning requirements for 2015-2016 require clinical commissioning groups to invest additionally in mental health in line with the growth in their overall funding allocation, which should benefit all communities.

In July 2014, the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health published guidance for commissioners of mental health services for those from black and minority ethnic communities which is attached and can be found at the following link:

The Department has been working with NHS England and commissioners to disseminate this guidance which describes what ‘good’ mental health services for people from BAME communities look like.

One of the key priorities of the work in updating the Mental Health Act 1983 Code of Practice, which was published in January 2015, was to eliminate discrimination, including for people from BAME communities. The Department’s published Equality Analysis Equality for all: Mental Health Act 1983: Code of Practice sets out a range of additional guidance that has been included aiming to address concerns raised by BAME stakeholders and others.

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