Editorials

Delivering mental health services for a diverse society

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7462.363 (Published 12 August 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:363
  1. Kamaldeep Bhui (k.s.bhui@qmul.ac.uk), professor of cultural psychiatry and epidemiology,
  2. Kwame McKenzie, senior lecturer in transcultural psychiatry,
  3. Paramjit Gill, senior lecturer
  1. Institute of Community Health Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, London E1 4NS
  2. Royal Free and University College School of Medicine, University College London, London NW3 2PF
  3. Department of Primary Care and General Practice, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT

    We need to marry policy and practice

    The presentation, management, and outcome of mental disorders differ between ethnic groups.13 w1 The most consistent findings are that African-Caribbeans with mental health problems are disproportionately found in forensic, psychiatric, and prison populations and among compulsorily detained patients.2 3 They are more likely to receive antipsychotic medication and less likely to be offered psychotherapy.45 w2 Rates of suicide are also higher among some South Asian women and young people of Caribbean origin.6 These disparities have several causes, but it is difficult not to consider the lack of a coordinated and effective response to them as evidence of institutional racism in mental health and allied services.78 w3 In response to the disparities and the demands of service users for action,9 the Department of Health recently launched two policy frameworks: Inside Outside, a new strategy for England,10 and a consultation document, Delivering race equality: a framework for action.11 Unfortunately these …

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