S.O.U.L. Radio Sunday show on mental health and deaths in custody

S.O.U.L. Radio Sunday show on mental health and deaths in custody

With mental health service users accounting for a staggering 61% of deaths in custody, Black Mental Health UK’s (BMH UK) director Matilda MacAttram will be speaking about this issue on S.O.U.L radio this Sunday 8th July from 3.00- 4.00 online

Hosted Lester Holloway this show can be heard live by visiting the online radio station at http://www.soulukradio.co.cc.

The show comes as the high profile inquest into mental health service user Sean Rigg enters the fourth week of a seven week hearing.

The widespread coverage that this case has received has one again made the treatment of vulnerable mental health service users, by both the police and statutory services an issue of national concern across the community.

Evidence given during this inquest has also highlighted a catalogue of failures by the professional services in the treatment of Sean Rigg, who died after he was restrained by a team of police officers from Brixton Police Station on 21 August 2008.

The relentless campaigning of the Rigg family in the lead up to this inquest has ensured that the community have come out in force for this hearing every day since this hearing has begun.

The public gallery at Southwark Corners court has been full with the media, friends and family of the deceased man and a number of campaigning groups.

Other bereaved families have also shown their support for the Rigg family in sitting though days of very disturbing evidence in to how this musician and songwriter lost his life.

The parents and siblings of Roger Sylvester, the mother of Ricky Bishop, the widow and daughter of Ian Tomlinson, the father and sister of Olaseni Lewis and the mother of Azelle Rodney are just a few of the supporters, who have sat through many of the emotionally charged and often distressing hearings over the past three weeks.

With the Home Affairs Select Committee’s announcement of an full inquiry into the Independent Police Complaints Commission, this Autumn campaigners say this also presents the opportunity to examine the way in which deaths in custody are currently handled.

‘BMH UK are particularly concerned that of all groups, it is mental health service users who are losing their lives in greatest numbers while detained in the care of the state.

Data from the IPCC shows that this group account for a staggering 50% of those who loose their lives in police custody, and yet we are still seeing police cells routinely used as a place of safety for those detained under s136 of the Mental Health Act. This has to change.

Campaigning from the community has been key in bringing about the governments Home Affairs Select Committee inquiry into the IPCC.

The HASC hearings due to take place this Autumn presents the opportunity for the families and also the wider community to speak out about how deaths in custody are handled and call for whole sale reform of the current system, which has clearly failed those it has been set up to serve,’ Matilda MacAttram director of Black Mental Health UK said.

Tune into Soul Radio online by visiting http://www.soulukradio.co.cc this Sunday 8 July 201 to hear more on one of the most pressing issue affecting black Briton today.

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Website: http://www.blackmentalhealth.org.uk
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