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Fighting against racism in mental health

Right now, our mental health system is stacked against Black and Brown people. People from racialised communities are more likely to experience a mental health problem but less likely to receive the help they need.

Stats on racism and mental health

Being there for everyone experiencing a mental health problem is fundamental to who we are. But the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus pandemic on racialised communities and the tragic killing of George Floyd and the anti-racism protests that followed, made us recognise where we’d been falling short.

Yes. We’ve built services, campaigned for and supported people from racialised communities.

But individual projects and good intentions will only take us so far.

The deep-rooted inequalities in society and in the mental health system are also found within Mind. There are so many people we don’t reach. Who don’t see Mind as relevant to their lives. Who we haven’t listened to hard enough or worked with closely enough.

To change this, we recognise that Mind needs to change – in terms of who we are as an organisation, how we support the mental health of people from racialised communities and how we acknowledge and challenge racism more widely.

The ‘big, bad black man syndrome’… you’re more likely to be heavily medicated or physically restrained. You expect it.

Taking action

Our ambition is to become a truly anti-racist organisation. We will be an unflinching advocate for racial justice and mental health. Our support will be engaging and effective for people from racialised communities. We will invest in building an inclusive organisational culture with diverse leaders.

Our Race Equality in Mind Initiative will also look to deliver greater racial equity in our culture, our values, our structure, our decisions, the support we provide, our partnerships, our campaigns and the way all staff approach our roles. Mind trustee Richard Addy who chairs of our Race Equality Advisory Board will be leading this initiative.

We are partnering with organisations who have the experience and expertise to transform the mental health of racialised communities.

The term 'hard to reach' is quite stigmatising and diminishing. If we’re hard to reach, it suggests we're the problem.

What we're doing now

Initiatives that we are running at the moment to specifically address the mental health of racialised communities include:

  • our programme working with young Black men to build services around their lived experience.
  • campaigning to end the racial disparity in the use of the Mental Health Act
  • campaigning on the introduction of Seni’s law to reduce the use of force specifically in mental health hospitals.
  • through Stand for me campaign, ahead of Senedd election in Wales, we’ve been calling on the next Welsh Government to address inequalities in access to mental health support, including for people from racialised communities.
  • many of our local Minds continue to provide services tailored to meet the needs of the diverse communities they serve.

Read next

Read our full strategy

In our charity strategy we're committing to becoming a truly anti-racist organisation. Find out what this means for us.

Mind's strategy

Young Black Men's programme

Our 3-year programme works with 11 to 30 year-olds by offering a range of tailored local services working specifically with young Black men.

Read about the programme

Our mental health act work

The current mental health act is outdated and discriminatory. We're working to change that. 

Find out how

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