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Anyone can suffer from mental illness, but current mental health services may not be appropriate for the whole population. People from black and minority ethnic groups may have different requirements, and this guide aims to help commissioners reduce mental health ethnic inequalities by procuring good healthcare for all.
This guidance has been produced by the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health (JCPMH), which “brings together leading organisations and individuals with an interest in commissioning for mental health and learning disabilities.” We’ve blogged about JCPMH publications in the past. A list of the organisations involved is available at the end of this post.
The guide has been prepared by health professionals, patients and carers, so it provides an insight into what makes a good mental health service for people from black and minority ethnic (BME) communities. It has been written for commissioners of mental health services, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Health and Wellbeing Boards, GPs, Commissioning Support Units, Local Authorities, and voluntary and independent sector organisations.
Mental health services for black and minority ethnic groups
A list of 8 reasons has been provided, explaining why the provision of good mental health services for people from BME communities is important for commissioners:
- Changing demography
- Improving the quality of mental health care
- Providing effective and appropriate care and enhancing wellbeing
- Reducing morbidity and premature deaths
- Legal obligations
- Ethical and inclusive commissioning
Case studies from around England
There is a section describing the current situation, followed by a list of 8 priorities for commissioners, and a collection of good practice case examples, collected from a “survey of various BME stakeholder groups”. The 8 examples come from London, the West Midlands and Yorkshire. Together with the case studies, this practical guide has been underpinned by references from more than 80 quality sources, and has been written by leading mental health experts.
Commentary for commissioners
If you are a commissioner of mental health services for BME communities, you’ll find the key messages at the start of the guidance really useful. The ten top-level messages are a useful start, but the report then goes on to briefly explain the responsibilities of commissioners, which is particularly useful and clearly written. Throughout the guide, there are helpful boxes which provide definitions for the terminology used, such as ethnicity, race, culture, and BME groups.
Another helpful feature is the links to the No health without mental health paper, which highlight the shared objectives that you should consider, so that your work aligns with the national strategy. As commissioners, you can work with your partner organisations and address the 8 priorities described, using the guidance provided to see how your activities can map to the shared objectives.
Guidance for commissioners of mental health services for people with black and minority ethnic communities (PDF). Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health, July 2014.
Supporting documents from the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health
- Guidance for implementing values-based commissioning in mental health (PDF)
- Ten key messages for commissioners (PDF)
- No health without mental health
Members of the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health
- Royal College of General Practitioners
- Royal College of Psychiatrists
- NSUN (National Survivor User Network)
- The British Psychological Society
- Rethink Mental Illness
- HFMA (Healthcare Financial Management Association)
- Centre for Mental Health
- Royal College of Nursing
- Mental Health Providers Forum
- The Afiya Trust
- ADASS (Association of Directors of Adult Social Services)
- NHS Confederation Mental Health Network
- The New Savoy Partnership