We at Mind in Harrow stand in solidarity with all those across the globe who are saddened, in mourning and were horrified by the murder of George Floyd. We stand in solidarity with the Black community against racism and inequality as they are yet again subject to pain and suffering at the hands of a racist, oppressive and unjust system. We stand in solidarity for George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Walter Scott, Tamir Rice and countless others who lost their lives to racial injustice. It has been a tragic reminder of the systemic issues and challenges we still face in society today and a reminder that we still have a long way to go in our work towards a more just society for all.
The persistence of racism and the devaluation of black life at both an interpersonal and systemic level calls for deep reflection and a renewed commitment to justice, equality and inclusion. Racism is an ongoing public health crisis and we know far too well of its impact on our mental health.
In mental health – as in other areas of life – there is a huge disparity in how black people are listened to and supported at every level. People from black and minority ethnic (BAME) groups living in the UK are more likely to:
- be diagnosed with mental health problems,
- be diagnosed and admitted to hospital,
- experience a poor outcome from treatment,
- disengage from mainstream mental health services, leading to social exclusion and a deterioration in their mental health.
We are affiliated to national Mind who are currently lobbying the government to implement our recommendations to the review into the Mental Health Act and its disproportional impact on BAME people. Mind is also involved in the NHS Mental Health Inequalities work, leading to some very clear ambitions about what should change in the next few years. Mind is also realigning our brand to resonate more with BAME people. We won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect. We know there is a lot of work to do and we will fight for everyone.
At Mind in Harrow our mission is to offer support to all those under mental distress. Our efforts of standing in solidarity alone may not do justice to the collective and inter-generational trauma, but we hope listening, sharing and attempting to understand each other’s pain can be a starting point for healing and for cultural and systemic change. If anyone wishes to access our support at this distressing time, we are here for you so please do contact us on 020 8426 0929.
Mind in Harrow is working with the NHS, Council and Voluntary & Community Sector partners to address the health inequalities and social injustices which COVID-19 has magnified for people with mental health problems from local BAME communities in Harrow.
We have collated some resources for our BAME colleagues, supplied by Mind’s BAME network, and some further information for allies.