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Government must go further to address structural racism and mental health in Commission response

Friday, 18 March 2022 Mind

Yesterday, the UK Government released their response to the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report into racism in Britain. The response disappointingly fails to address the overwhelming evidence of structural racism and its impact on the mental health of racialised communities.

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:

"The response by the UK Government to the conclusions of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report is nuanced but continues a disappointing lack of action on racism and mental health.

The Independent Review of the Mental Health Act, as well as many working within mental health services, acknowledge institutional and structural racism within the sector and accept that it requires a sustained and concerted effort to dismantle. It is also evident that racism in wider society can have a detriment on mental health among minoritised communities. For example, our work in schools highlights that racism impacts young people’s mental health – from young black women feeling like they will be labelled a certain way if they express their anger, to parents from minoritised communities who witness their son being treated differently from his peers.

So while it is welcome that UK Government is willing to interrogate data to try and understand the complexities at play, it remains clear that there is systemic racism in our society and within our mental health services that they must do far more to address.”

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