BME Mental Health vs Cultural Stigmas
Taking on BME mental health vs the cultural stigmas and barriers.
Black minority ethic groups have different rates and experiences of mental health problems faced on a daily basis. Reflecting on various online research shows shockingly 93 per cent of mental health experiences faced by BME communities also face discrimination due to this taboo subject.
In general, people from black and minority ethnic groups living in the UK are:
- more likely to be diagnosed with mental health problems
- more likely to be diagnosed and admitted to hospital
- more likely to experience a poor outcome from treatment
- more likely to disengage from mainstream mental health services, leading to social exclusion and a deterioration in their mental health.
These differences may be explained by a number of factors, including poverty and racism. They may also be because mainstream mental health services often fail to understand or provide services that are acceptable and accessible to non-white British communities and meet their particular cultural and other needs.
It is likely that mental health problems go unreported and untreated because people in some ethnic minority groups are reluctant to engage with mainstream health services. It is also likely that mental health problems are over-diagnosed in people whose first language is not English.
Generation Reform wants to tackle all the stigmas that BME communities face on a daily basis in order to beat the discrimination faced and also the lack of understanding of cultural aspects that organisations and services aren’t taking into account when facing with BME service users. Everyone is entitled to access services without facing discrimination and we believe in fighting for that right if it means working on each stigma at a time we will dedicate that time to do so.
Asha Iqbal is founder of Generation Reform, public speaker and mental health campaigner. After growing up in an abusive household and suffering from various mental health issues including anxiety, self harming, suicidal thoughts, depression and PTSD; Asha has recognised breaking down mental health barriers is essential. “I suffered from coercive behaviour, honour abuse and so many cultural issues growing up and what people don’t recognise is the impact this has on an individual. We talk about abuse and crime but we tend to neglect the mental health impact and this is why I formed my org so I can address this through my workshops, public speaking and campaigns.” “For many years I neglected my needs on accessing mental health services due to the shame attached to it in the community and this is what saddens me as I still see this happen every day but I am hoping my voice and past experiences will open doors to many.”
Asha’s campaign impacts many with a consistent twitter engagement that hits 2 million per month, her voice echoes further than most long standing mental health campaigns and orgainisations. If you want to book Asha for public speaking, collaborative campaign or workshops; please email her for a list of her fees on firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of Asha’s awareness work she talks openly about her own experiences etc and one of her most impactful videos was below when she spoke about having ‘suicidal thoughts’.
Talking about my own suicidal thoughts on @NevilleSouthall twitter takeover was hard! As you can see I was hiding it hard to control my emotions. This is the harsh reality of living with suicidal thoughts @RespectYourself @ReshKhan_ @MHChat pic.twitter.com/6dAdNfSHWl
— Asha Iqbal (@_socialdrone) June 3, 2018