Mental health and race – the blight of dual discrimination

Mary O’Hara from The Guardian writes:

Black and minority ethnic people living with mental illness face a double dose of prejudice, says a new report from the anti-stigma organisation Time to Change

An overwhelming majority of people from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds in the UK living with mental health problems face regular discrimination because of their illness according to a new report from the anti-stigma organisation, Time to Change. In the first survey the organisation has conducted, exclusively of people from BME groups, 93% said they had experienced discrimination in everyday life due to their mental health difficulties.

Respondents also reported high levels of racial discrimination (73% had faced it at some point and 28% in the previous 12 months), leading the study’s authors to warn about the serious issue of “dual discrimination” blighting people’s lives. The research surveyed 740 people in 2013 from a mixture of African, Caribbean, Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds in England with mental health issues. Most alarmingly, it found that almost half (49%) had faced discriminatory behaviour from mental health staff.

“Discrimination as a result of mental ill health is reported across a wide range of every day activities,” the researchers found. “There are some slight variations across ethnic groups but the overall picture is constant: discrimination is everywhere.”

Areas of life where discrimination was common included employment, in communities, within families and during contact with mental health services. Only a fifth of people from BME communities said they felt able to speak to people about their mental health. “This suggests that most are functioning in social circles where one of the most important parts of their lives is left unspoken,” the report concluded…

To read the rest of The Guardian article, follow this link


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