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 inequalities by procuring good health care for all.
This guidance has been produced by the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health, which “brings together leading organisations and individuals with an interest in commissioning for mental health and learning disabilities.” 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 & 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 eight 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 eight 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, 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 experts in the specialty of mental health.
The key messages for commissioners of mental health services for BME communities are summarised at the start of the guidance, not only listing the ten messages, but also briefly explaining 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. Something else that is really helpful, is that the guide links to the “No health without mental health” paper (link below), and highlights the shared objectives that you should consider so that your work aligns with the national strategy. As commissioners, you could work with your partner organisations and address the eight priorities described using the guidance provided and 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
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