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

Standard

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

De Governors Greed : Brexit; fooled by the fools

Standard

Parliament Big Ben from Westminster Bridge - Image Credit Free Range Stock - Jack MorehAlmost 20 years ago, as a performance poet using traditional Caribbean pros, I wrote, performed and recorded one of my trademark poems, De Governors Greed. Friends and family told me then that the poem would remain poignantly relevant for years to come.

I have speckled this article with phrases from the poem.

With the recent car crash of the United Kingdom’s Brexit from the European Union (EU) this poem has once again come alive for me, particularly since some of the aftershocks of Brexit are now being heard and felt all over the country and even beyond it.

The keynote ‘rant’ of the piece was “The governor can’t fool me” evoking a principled approach I have adopted throughout all of my adult life, that I would never allow myself to become a mental puppet of the so-called established state whatever form it took. Continue reading

How to decolonise mental health services

Standard
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