With women from the UK’s African Caribbean communities accounting for a significant number in the increase of those who use specialist mental health services, concerns raised by the BBC Politics show that reports of sexual assaults are made every three days across London’s mental health services will be among the issues discussed.
Run by the campaigns group UK’ Feminista, this monthly event provides an arena for those working or with an interest in women’s issues, where they can develop knowledge and networks.
Over a million people use mental health services every year. Women are subject to detention under the Mental Health Act in far greater numbers than men. A report from the NHS Information Centre shows that of all groups, black women account for a significant number of the increase of people who use specialist or secure mental health services.
The BBC Sunday Politics show report aired in March this year showed that there have been 523 allegations of rape and sexual assaults on hospital wards in London, between 2008 and 2011, but only two cases have led to prosecutions.
BMH UK believe that more needs to be done to protect victims in such cases and new policies need to be put in place to ensure that prosecutions are enforced every time that an NHS Mental Health Trust is made aware that such an incident has occurred.
Black Mental Health UK (BMH UK)’s director Matilda MacAttram will be among the speakers at this month’s UK Feminista forum.
Speakers from the Platform 51 and Emma Scott of Rights of Women will also be at this event.
Matilda MacAttram director of Black Mental Health UK said: ‘ Of all groups, people who are detained in specialist or secure mental health services are the most vulnerable or else they would not be in hospital in the first place.
The last thing that anyone who is sectioned under the Mental Health Act should have to deal with is fearing for their own safety. This issue needs to be prioritised not only be mental health trusts, but also law enforcement agencies. It is the only way that faith will ever be restored in these services.’
Open to both men and women this forum will be held on Wednesday 25th April, at 9.30am -10.45am at the Esmee Fairbarin Foundation, 5th Floor, Kings Place, 90 York Way, N1.
To register for this event contact UK Feminista’s Policy and Campaign Manager Elli Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org