Mental Health and Advocacy Information for Ethnic Minorities

If you are from an ethnic minority group, you may face specific issues relating to your health and social care. This factsheet gives information on how we can support you with these issues.

Access to Mental Health Support

If you are from an ethnic minority background, you may have different experiences that impact on your mental health. Things like fear, stigma, lack of culturally sensitive treatment, or a lack of trust in professionals can stop you from seeking support. In fact, 1 in 4 people from ethnic minorities don't share their mental health issues, believing no one will understand. Advocacy Focus understand and we can help you to get the treatment or care you need if you feel no one is listening to you.

Help if you or someone you know is sectioned

British black people are four times more likely to be sectioned than British white people, and are also 29% more likely to be forcibly restrained. Ethnic minority groups are also disproportionately treated via Community Treatment Orders. If you or someone you know is sectioned under the Mental Health Act, they may be entitled to free support from an Independent Advocate. An Advocate is someone who works independently from the NHS and social services to help you understand your rights and communicate your thoughts and wishes. Advocates can attend meetings with you and help you understand more about processes and treatments.

Complaints about your health or social care

If you feel that you have been treated unfairly by the NHS or social services, or that your care or treatment didn't live up to your expectations and wish to complain, you can have an Advocate to help you. We also offer free self help resources via our website.

Support for older people

Certain ethnic minority groups in the UK are more likely to have poorer health, particularly later in life. Ethnic minorities also have a low uptake of health and social care services. For example, 48% of older people from an ethnic minority background surveyed in Greater Manchester did not take up free NHS checks that they were entitled to. You may also face more barriers when accessing health or social care.

We can help people of any age access the care and treatment they need. Some people are legally entitled to have an Independent Advocate to support them to understand and take part in making decisions affecting their care, treatment and support. You may also be entitled to an Independent Advocate to support you through your Health and Social Care Assessments, support plans, reviews or safeguarding enquiries.

Support to live the way you want to live

Advocacy is about helping you live the way you want to live, no matter your background, ethnicity, age or mental capacity. We help everyone from all walks of life have their say in their health and social care treatment.

Who can I contact if I'm in crisis?

If you are in a mental health crisis, you can contact your local NHS urgent mental health helpline. You can find details of your local NHS urgent mental health helpline at: www.nhs.uk/service-search/mental-health/find-an-urgent-mental-healthhelpline. Or you can call NHS 111 to ask them for details. If all else fails, you should attend your nearest A&E department for help.

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