Research abstracts: african and caribbean mental health

Title: Breaking the circles of fear: a review of the relationship between mental health services and African and Caribbean communities
Author: Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health
Publisher London: Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, 2002. 102p

The key findings of this report include the following. Mainstream services are experienced as inhumane unhelpful and inappropriate by black people. The care pathways are problematic. Primary care is limited and community based crisis care is lacking. There is a divergence in professional and lay discourse about mental illness.

Title: Is there racial bias in clinicians’ perceptions of the dangerousness of psychiatric patients: a review of the literature
Author: Spector, Rachel
Reference: Journal of Mental Health, 10(1), February 2001, pp5-15

Reviews the evidence for the assertion that racial stereotyping influences mental health provision perceptions of the dangerous of psychiatric patients. As there is little literature that directly examines this, the review draws on studies examining the relationship between race and the use of coercion within the mental health system. The use of compulsory admission to hospital in the UK, and the use of seclusion and restraint in the US are examined. Alternative explanations of the over-representation of black men in the use of these procedures are discussed and the evidence of each explanation evaluated. The review concludes that there is some evidence in support of the assertion that racial bias in perceptions of dangerousness influences patient management.

Title: Working with men for change
Author: Wild, Jim
Publisher London: UCL Press, 1999. 260p

Brings together theory, research and practice to create an essential handbook for all those interested in men, masculinity and social relations. Includes chapters on: working with men from a feminist perspective gender, oppression and change disabled men working with black men for change men in therapy a therapeutic groupwork approach to HIV prevention with gay men men, violence and love safety issues for women co-facilitating.

Title: Social capital, anticipated ethnic discrimination and self-reported psychological health: a population-based study
Author: Lindstrom, Martin
Reference: Social Science and Medicine, 66(1), January 2008, pp1-13

This study investigates the association between anticipated ethnic discrimination and self-reported psychological health, taking trust in other people into consideration. The 2004 Public Health Survey in Skane, Sweden, is a cross-sectional postal questionnaire study including a total of 27,757 respondents aged 18-80 with a 59% response rate. Poor mental health was reported by 13% of men and 18.9% of women, and 44.8% and 44.7%, respectively, reported that 50% or more of employers would discriminate according to race and religion. Respondents in younger age groups, born abroad, with high education, low trust and high levels of self-reported anticipated discrimination, had significantly higher levels of poor self-reported psychological health. There was a significant association between anticipated discrimination and low trust. Anticipated discrimination may have effects on the mental health of not only the affected minorities, but also on the mental health of the general population.



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