New Horizons mental health care strategy must not sideline ethnic minorities concerns

New Horizons mental health care strategy must not sideline ethnic minorities concerns

Today (Thursday 23 July) the Government has launched New Horizons, a major new consultation on how mental health care services should be delivered for the next ten years. This strategy is being put out to consultation as the current mental health strategy the National Service Framework will come to an end in the autumn.

New Horizons offers the opportunity to ensure that the failures highlighted within mental health services in the David Bennett Inquiry report are taken forward and addressed through this new strategy if the UK is to avoid a two tier services where black patient are detained within secure psychiatric settings and only ever treated using the medical model based on compulsion and coercion.

In response to the consultation launch, Matilda MacAttram director of Black Mental Health UK said:

‘New Horizon’s presents us with the opportunity to address systemic failures within mental health services highlighted within the David Bennett Inquiry report.
The Count Me In Census in inpatient care shows that detention rates under the Mental Health Act for people from African Caribbean communities continues to rise despite this having similar rates of mental illness as any other ethnic group.
The findings from the National Patient Safety Agency which show that there are now average of four deaths a day among people using in psychiatric services.

The disturbing revelation of the state of inpatient wards published in the Mental Health Act Commission’s final report, published this week, make it clear that the need for culturally appropriate, community based, easily accessible, therapeutic care has never been more urgent.

If we are to create a mental health services which is fit for a twenty first century multi cultural society, then the voice of those who are currently most disadvantaged by its failures need to be heard clearly throughout this consultation process.’

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