Put race equality in mental health back on the agenda

Racism in mental health institutions and wider society no longer appears to be an issue if the coalition government is to be believed. The impression given is that we are moving to a post-racial big society where ‘state multiculturalism’ is expunged from British values and public consciousness.

This move is reflected in ‘No health without mental health‘, the new cross-governmental mental health strategy. This builds on some of the aspirations of its predecessor New Horizons developed by New Labour in its last 12 months in power.

At face value we recognise the new strategy’s important focus on children and young people, anti-discrimination campaigns and the ongoing commitment to psychological therapies. However, the new strategy fails to address key issues around race and mental health, typified by the absence of any black and minority ethnic (BME) and service user-led organisations in its ‘A call to action’ document.

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