PM to look at ‘institutional racism’ of black people by mental health services

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Young Peoplesource: Care Appointments
published: 1 March 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May said she is “looking at” the treatment of black people by mental health services amid claims of “institutional racism”.

Labour MP Steve Reed said young black men using mental health services were more likely to be subject to detention and “severe” physical restraint, as he called for an inquiry.

The Croydon North MP cited the example of constituent Olaseni Lewis, who died after he was restrained in a south-east London psychiatric hospital in August 2010.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, Mrs May agreed the issue was a problem. Continue reading

How to decolonise mental health services

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David 'Rocky' Bennett

David ‘Rocky’ Bennett

Before David ‘Rocky’ Bennett’s death in a psychiatric unit 18 years ago, he sent a letter to the nurse director, pointing out there were no black staff members. He wrote:

“There are over half a dozen black boys in this clinic. I don’t know if you have realised that there are no Africans on your staff at the moment”.

Bennett died while being held down by four staff members at a psychiatric unit after a violent altercation with another patient and a nurse. Looking at the circumstances around his untimely death, it’s clear his blackness was threatening to staff members. He had been using the mental health for at least a decade, yet his needs as a black Rastafarian were not being met.

Continue reading

Jeremy Corbyn creates new dedicated ‘Minister for Mental Health’ in his shadow cabinet

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Jeremy CorbynJeremy Corbyn has appointed a shadow “Minister for Mental Health” to his shadow cabinet, Labour has announced.

Luciana Berger will directly work on mental health issues and consider how they can best be addressed by the NHS and prioritised by a Labour government.

The post, which is Cabinet-level, is a new creation of Mr Corbyn’s shadow administration and has no identical counterpart in the Conservative government.

“We have delivered a unifying, dynamic, inclusive new Shadow Cabinet which for the first time ever has a majority of women,” Mr Corbyn said in a statement. Continue reading