Mental health services for ethnic minorities held back by lack of user involvement

Service users from ethnic minorities are unlikely to be involved in
mental health user-involvement projects because their basic needs
are not being met, delegates said.

Services would not become culturally sensitive until more people
from ethnic minorities took part in user-involvement projects,
according to Frank Keating, senior research fellow at the Sainsbury
Centre for Mental Health.

Providers should recognise people from ethnic minorities’
identities and strengths and look beyond their mental illness, he

A wider range of community-based services should be developed
rather than acute hospital-based services, he added.

Former service user Eileen Philip told the conference she had felt
isolated and misunderstood on a psychiatric ward until she was
allocated an African-Caribbean outreach worker who listened to her.

She said attitudes within the system needed to change.

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