Black Lives Matter

Racism and discrimination

To say this is an exponentially tough time for black people in the world would be an understatement⁠.

  • Research suggests that experiencing racism can be very stressful and have a negative effect on overall health and mental health.
  • There is a growing body of research to suggest that those exposed to racism may be more likely to experience mental health problems such as psychosis and depression.
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Black people are often the disadvantaged community in society

BAME communities are also often faced with disadvantages in society.  They are more likely to experience poverty, have poorer educational outcomes, higher unemployment, and contact with the criminal justice system, and may face challenges accessing or receiving appropriate professional services.

Even when employed, men and women from some black communities are paid less on average than those from other groups with similar qualifications and experience.

3. Mental health stigma

Mental health is not typically spoken about in black communities as openly as others. Due to this, it can discourage people to come forward and seek help or talk to friends and family about how they truly feeling. In turn, leaving individuals to deal with their issues alone and suffer in silence.

4. Criminal justice system

In addition, black people are 40% more likely to access treatment through a police or criminal justice route, less likely to receive psychological therapies, more likely to be compulsorily admitted for treatment, more likely to be on a medium or high secure ward and be more likely to be subject to seclusion or restraint (56.2 per 100,000 population for Black Caribbean as against 16.2 per 100,000 population for white). We must stress that there is a hugely complex picture here, but it seems undeniable that Black people get to the sharper end of treatment in the more uncomfortable ways. Which of course, frightens people from asking for help

Facts

  • The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS) found that Black men were more likely than their White counterparts to experience a psychotic disorder in the last year.18 
  • Risk of psychosis in Black Caribbean groups is estimated to be nearly seven times higher than in the White population.19 
  • The impact of the higher rates of mental illness is that people from these groups are more likely than average to encounter mental health services.20  
  • Detention rates under the Mental Health Act during 2017/18 were four times higher for people in the ‘Black’ or ‘Black British’ group than those in the ‘White’ group.21
  • The Count Me in Census, which collects information on inpatient care, found higher than average admission and detention rates for Black groups in every year since 2006 to 2010.22
  • Black men were reported to have the highest rates of drug use and drug dependency than other groups.18 
  • Whilst the White Caucasian population experienced the highest rates for suicidal thoughts, suicide rates are higher among young men of Black African, Black Caribbean origin, and among middle aged Black African, Black Caribbean and South Asian women than among their White British counterparts.23

Solutions

Black people are facing a very difficult and emotionally exhausting time. Now more than ever it is important people look after their minds.

  • Take social media breaks.
  • Allow yourself to also consume good and funny information
  • Practice self care regularly
  • Speak with trusted friends and family about how you are feeling
  • Meditate
  • Journal your thoughts and feelings
  • Join safe groups and spaces
  • most importantly, allow yourself to feel your feelings instead of suppressing them.


References

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/b/black-asian-and-minority-ethnic-bame-communities

https://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/legal-news/legal-newsletter-june-2019/discrimination-in-mental-health-services/

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/b/black-asian-and-minority-ethnic-bame-communities

Black Lives Matter

Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behaviour, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.