Implications and Impact: A Case for Culturally Appropriate Mental Health Services in Response to Covid-19 is the newly released report detailing the findings from their National Mapping of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Mental Health Services Survey.
Organisations including NHS Foundation Trusts, Local Authority commissioners of health and wellbeing services, as well as Voluntary and Community Sector organisations across England and Wales responded.
Covid-19 has exposed yet another inequality that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities experience in the United Kingdom (UK). The two analyses by Public Health England (2 June 2020 and 16 June 2020) revealed that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities are at higher risk of contracting the virus, increased risk of severe symptoms and higher rates of death. This survey highlights that a mental health epidemic is coming and that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities are likely to be at the forefront.
Drawing on the responses from mental health services in the United Kingdom (UK) the report recommends actions at five levels:
Bereavement Support: The need for a National BAME Bereavement Service that meets the cultural needs of the community;
Commissioners/Funders of Mental Health Services: More needs to be done in relation to funding, capacity building and commissioning of BAME mental health services especially around bereavement
NHS and Statutory Providers: More training in cultural competencies and equality impact assessments
Mainstream Third Sector Providers and infrastructure Organisations: The licensing and recognition of bona fide BAME mental health providers should be explored which could then benefit the sector long term as a representative body of quality ‘assuring’ BAME mental health providers.
Policy makers and academics: More research on the impact of COVID-19 on BAME bereaved families.
“COVID-19 has further highlighted the inequalities in mental health services as reflected in this survey, especially around bereavement support and mental health wellbeing services in general. From the studies, reviews and reports cited in this report, it has been shown that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities are less likely to access mainstream services, which means that the need for a culturally responsive bereavement support service is critical, and paramount to supporting their future well-being and mental health” [Helen George, Dr Yansie Rolston, Patrick Vernon, OBE]
Report Author, Karl Murray said:
“Respondents reported that clients presented anxiety linked employment legal advice, food shortage, help with understanding the benefit system, homelessness and migration issues. The result, as respondents have indicated, has led to people contemplating “suicide…[and] psychotic delusions about what COVID-19 is or is not”. As we ease down out of restrictions, the question coming out of all this, is: What will the renewal of the way we conduct business and live our lives look like after COVID-19?”
Yvonne Field, Founder and CEO of The Ubele Initiative said:
“The Ubele Initiative is really pleased to be part of this exciting alliance. We have been able to play a pivotal role incubating BAMEStream and supporting this much-needed research which provides a robust evidence base and a compelling case for culturally appropriate mental health services in the UK.”
To learn more, visit www.bamestream.org.uk