Hello everyone. Welcome to the April update of my BAME mental health carer forum. This is one of the 7 carer forums that I run that is specifically aimed at ethnic unpaid carers who care for someone suffering mental distress or mental illness. It is hard for unpaid carers to often get a voice, understand mental health services or even be identified by health and social care. There is a push for ethnic inclusion, but a lot of it is patient centered. So this is one of the reasons why I started a BAME MH carer forum, there are of course more to come.
For this month’s speakers we had the following.
Dr Juliana Onwumere who is a Senior Lecturer and Consultant Clinical Psychologist. She is also the Institute of Psychiatry Psychology and Neuroscience Carer Champion
Welcome to the March 2021 update of the joint Southwark & Lambeth Mental Health carers forum. I know its a mouthfull of a title, but just consider its an open forum for those who care for someone suffering mental distress.
For the month of March, the guest invites were the following.
Jessica powell – Researcher from Imperial College London
Ros cumberbatch – South London & Maudsley NHS trust carer lead for Southwark
Annette Davis – Carer peer, activist and BAME carer support.
Claire Parry – Psychotherapist leading on trust psycho therapy
Debika – SLaM Assistant Psychologist for Family and Carers Support in Southwark
Welcome to my latest unpaid carers blog for May 2021. As you might already know, this website focuses heavily on mental health unpaid carers. What I mean is the focus is on families and friends caring/supporting someone who suffers from mental illness.
I run many peer support groups and forums that bring unpaid carers together. The groups are carer led, but try to work with the mental health and social care services. This helps to give unpaid carers a voice and also a chance to understand the complex mental health, health and social care system.
As we all know service users or lived experienced have a range of avenues to express their voice and I guess that is important because they need to, after all they are using the mental health services and the quality of their lives and wellbeing is often tested. All I ask is that friends, families and those emotionally tied to mental health survivors should not be forgotten.
Unfortunately this needs to not only extend to mental health unpaid carers, but those from ethnic communities. Drill down deeper and you will find different levels of quality amongst ethnic unpaid carers. Usually black unpaid carers tend to struggle as their loved ones fair worse off in regards to mental health services.
Below is just some key factors.
Black men were more likely than their White counterparts to experience a psychotic disorder.
Large numbers of black people more likely than average to use high end mental health services.
Detention rates under the Mental Health Act higher for people in the ‘Black’ or ‘Black British’ group than those in the ‘White’ group.
Even with higher detention rates, the outcomes for black service users are still overwhelmingly poor.
Suicide rates are higher among young men of Black African, Black Caribbean origin, possibly due to other complex factors being :-
Access to quality services
Mental health stigma
With all the above mentioned, it does not take long to see the impact filter down to black families and unpaid mental carers. The strain is increasing and black unpaid mental health carers tend to just shrug their shoulders and cope with it all, as they have been trying to cope with complex inequalities while pushing back to avoid the outcomes their loved ones experience. It does not take long for a BAME mental health carer to cross that line to BAME mental health survivor….if they survive that long.
As an unpaid carer, I have experienced the hard road many BAME carers have faced and this is why formed and pushed for connections with many other BAME carers, they do not have to be black as other ethnic carers can find solidarity and identitfy unpaid mental health carers face.
There is still stigma, predjudice, discrimination and inequalities in society, a lot of things have changed and some things have improved, but it would be foolish to ignore the impact of race and mental health.
The candle needs to burn at both ends as BAME mental health carers need to come together and share their experience with the mental health, health and social care services on what is working and what needs to work.
If you are a BAME mental health carer, check out my online BAME carer groups below.
Welcome to my Greenwich Mental Health carers forum update for March. This is the 2nd Greenwich MH carers forum for 2021, since this is a fairly new forum aimed at families and carers who are caring for someone with mental illness.
The forum is not a support group, although there are times discussions may dwell on a supportive nature as members switch to talking about their own unpaid caring experiences. The Royal Borough of Greenwich MH carers forum aims to give families and unpaid carers a chance to talk to Mental health, health and social care services about how they can also support carers. The forum is a chance at engagement, involvement and empowerment for unpaid carers who would like to know what is going on with services. There also might be a chance to influence services when the Royol Borough of Greenwich mental health carers network grows in numbers.
Welcome to a brief update of our March mental health carers forum for the borough of Lewisham. The carer’s forum is chaired by unpaid carer Matthew Mckenzie who runs many engagement and peer groups in South London aimed at families and carers who care for someone suffering mental illness or mental distress.
The speakers for the month of March 2021 were
British Institute of human rights. Wendy Dewhirst SLaM new Community manager for Lewisham.
BRITISH INSTITUTE OF HUMAN RIGHTS PRESENTS.
It is clear that unpaid carers have rights, otherwise we would not have the ‘Care Act 2014’, but what is not clear is how unpaid carer rights are linked into human rights. This is why I am linking carers to understand more about human rights.