Date Published: 6 December 2005

UK Health minister welcomes landmark census on mental health and race

Health News from the United Kingdom (UK).

Independent report is vital building block to eradicate discrimination

Health minister Rosie Winterton today welcomed the publication of 'Count Me In', the first ever census of the ethnicity of people using inpatient mental health services.

The shortcomings of the mental health services many Black and Minority Ethnic people receive were highlighted in the David Bennett report and the Department of Health's 'Delivering Race Equality' strategy was established to address the issues it raised.

The census - published today by the Healthcare Commission - is a key step in the implementation of 'Delivering Race Equality' and provides robust information about the extent and nature of the problems we face. Amongst its findings are figures showing that Black African and Caribbean people are three times more likely to be admitted to hospital and up to 44% more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act. The report was commissioned by the Department of Health in January as part of its drive to eradicate discrimination and inequalities in mental health services.

Health minister Rosie Winterton said:

" I welcome this report, which is an essential component of Delivering Race Equality in Mental Health Care, the Department's blueprint for reform of mental health services.
_ We asked the Mental Health Act Commission, Healthcare Commission and the National Institute for Mental Health in England to undertake this census as a vital building block towards our aim of eliminating inequalities in mental health services.
_ Racism or discrimination in any form have no place in modern health or social care - they are an affront to the core values of the NHS. The results of the census will act as a benchmark for measuring our progress in bringing those inequalities to an end.
_ We have put in place a comprehensive action plan to stamp out inequalities and discrimination in mental health services. Almost a year in, good progress has been made. I know that many services around the country are improving the care they provide for ethnic minority communities and I am confident that we have started to build the sort of service that can make the inequalities that the census confirms a thing of the past."

Source(s): UK Gov., Dept Health

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