New Project Bids For Mental Health Equality

A new project has been launched to help improve mental health care for black and minority communities in Sheffield.

The Enhancing Pathways into Care (EPIC) project, which is being run by Sheffield Care Trust, is a collaboration of the Trusts’ Crisis Assessment Home Treatment team (CAHT) and the Pakistani Muslim Centre.

The project aims to develop straightforward pathways for people in crisis, and engage with the Pakistani community to find meaningful ways to reduce stigmas associated with mental health. SCT are also aiming to improve access to crisis services/ home treatment for the Pakistani community in-line with national targets.

The new project was inspired by central government policy, which indicates a genuine commitment to develop services for black and minority ethnic groups, especially based upon evidence which explains the experiences of black and ethnic minority communities within mental health services.

Rashna Hackett, a consultant nurse working within CAHT, said: “I am committed to raising standards of care for all services users.

“As evidence shows, representation of black and ethnic service users within mental health services is disproportionately high and there has been little engagement and service development for this community by the mental health services in Sheffield.

“It is timely for SCT and its employees to break ground and to engage in innovative ways with the communities it serves and I am hopeful that this project will act as a model across South Yorkshire.”

The project is aiming to reduce the rates of in-patient admissions from the Pakistani community by offering alternatives such as prescribed social activity as well as to improve relationships and respect between statutory services and the Pakistani community.

The EPIC project also hopes to promote a culture where carers are included in care packages and ensure that user led and user focused services are recognised and integrated into mainstream society.

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Name: Allie Tinsley
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