MyGroupNI Portal | Home 20 August 2017
Ethnic Health Initiative Conference

The latest data published on use of the Mental Health Act in England for 2008 / 2009 from the Mental Health Minimum Data Set shows that the rates of detention via the Mental Health Act have increased steeply (The NHS Information Office 2009). This report shows that 31.8% of service users receiving care on inpatient units were detained under the Mental Health Act. This is a greater number than in previous years. The data also showed that 53.8% of the “Black” and “Black British” group who were inpatients, spent some time detained compulsorily in comparison to 31.8% overall. The over representation of certain Black and Minority Ethnic Groups within inpatient services is not new.

The results of the 2009 “Count Me In” Census have also just been published (Care Quality Commission 2010). The Census found that 22% of all patients were from minority ethnic groups compared to 20% for the 2005 Census, possibly reflecting the changing population of the UK. The rates of individuals subject to the Mental Health Act were higher than average for some groups namely the Black Caribbean, Black African, Other Black and White / Black Caribbean Mixed and Other White Groups. The rates of people from Other Black and Black Caribbean groups detained under Section 37/41 has remained higher than average for the last five years. The rates of admission or detention have not reduced since 2005 for Black and minority ethnic groups.

This one day event will focus on the exploration of the following questions:

• How should we interpret these findings?

• Is racism the main issue behind the fact that some BME groups are over represented in terms of admission and detention rates and also the increased use of certain diagnostic categories such as schizophrenia?

• Should we be focusing on understanding and learning why certain BME groups are not over represented?

• Have the changes to the Mental Health Act been detrimental or helpful? To whom?

• What alternatives are available and seen as useful to people from BME communities who have been, or who are currently at risk of being detained?
• Where do the solutions lie? Should we be focusing on tackling racism in society? Should we be making stronger efforts to address institutional racism within mental health services?

 For the full conference programme and booking forms visit the Conference website