BAME Specific Resources

In England and Wales, nearly one in five of us come from a BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) background. Challenges such as racism, stigma and inequalities can affect the mental health of people from BAME communities.

We recognise that not everyone likes the term BAME. It covers a wide range of people with a diverse range of needs, and it can be problematic to put all those people into a single group. However, it can be a useful term to show that people who aren’t White British can face specific issues and challenges because of their ethnicity. We use BAME here as a shorthand term, but acknowledge people can find it unsatisfying or prefer to use a different term to describe themselves.

General guidance for BAME Mental Health and Wellbeing

Racism and discrimination

Racism can range from micro-aggressions (subtle but offensive comments) to explicit hurtful words to verbal or physical aggression. Experiencing racism can be very stressful and have a negative effect on your overall health and your mental health.

Being exposed to racism may increase your likelihood of experiencing mental health problems such as psychosis and depression.

If you’ve experienced racism, read our page on stigma and discrimination. While the page is about mental health, the tips on how to make a complaint are relevant to all cases of discrimination. There is also a list of organisations that can help and advise you.

Social and economic inequalities

People from BAME communities often face disadvantages in society. They are more likely to:

  • experience poverty and homelessness
  • do less well at school
  • be unemployed
  • be in contact with the criminal justice system
  • face challenges accessing services.

Each of these can increase the risk of developing mental health problems.

Mental health stigma

Different communities understand and talk about mental health in different ways.

In some communities, mental health problems are rarely recognised or spoken about. They may be seen as shameful or embarrassing. This can discourage people from talking about their mental health or going to their GP for help.

Further links and resources for BAME Mental Health and Wellbeing

General

For specific groups of people

  • The Black, African and Asian Therapy Network – search their directory to find a therapist of Black, African, Asian or Caribbean heritage.
  • Black Minds Matter – they connect Black individuals and families to free mental health support provided by Black therapists.
  • Sharing Voices – a charity working with various BAME groups in Bradford to offer emotional support, group sessions and befriending services.
  • Taraki – they work with Punjabi communities to create spaces where people can access mental health support and education. You can join their virtual forums for men, women and LGBTQ+ people.

    Training

    Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England has announced the launch of a new Race Equity and Mental Health course. Designed for senior leaders, the course will help learners improve the mental health of their organisations by creating an equitable workplace for all employees.

    https://mhfaengland.org/mhfa-centre/news/race-equity-and-mental-health-course-launched-by-MHFA-England/