Throughout the United Kingdom, evidence showed BME communities had significantly poorer mental health outcomes and poorer experience of services. For some individuals, limited knowledge of available support and the ways to access it allowed mental health problems to become more entrenched and difficult to cope with.
As the largest provider of mental health and community services in Northamptonshire and as a response to the above, in 2015 we embarked on our ‘Moving Ahead’ project to improve access and services for BME communities.
Since then, the project has grown significantly focusing on key areas where there has been a need for change and improvement, as well as launching the community engagement programme in early 2018.
Throughout 2018 we provided Moving Ahead training to local communities which covered challenging subjects such as race equality, racial prejudice, stereo?typical assumptions made about BME communities, unconscious bias and information about how the NHS works and how to access services.
A total of over 100 people have attended our Moving Ahead training programme and feedback/evaluation has been positive. Trainees have come from our own staff, BME project members and stakeholder representatives from partner organisations.
Communtiy engagement events
We are working in partnership with Northamptonshire Carers, Total Voice and Mind organisations in Northamptonshire to bring together health care services which support you or the ones your care for out in the community. These engagement events are open for anyone to come along to find out more about services available, how to access them and ask any questions you may have. There will be a variety of representatives attending from all areas to talk to you about access to services and whether self-referral is available as well as explain what services or treatment may include.
Watch this space, we will keep you updated with any upcoming events.
If you would like to request for someone to come and talk to you about the project or services available, or would like a variety of stands from services to come along to an event you are holding, please do get in touch with us on 1536 452221.
We will also be joined by NHFT wellbeing navigators who will be offering free health checks including; blood pressure checks, BMI and weight measurements as well as much more. There is no need to book, simply just turn up at the venue listed below at a time that suits you and join these organisations for a chat and a coffee. This is a great opportunity to learn more about community health services in Northamptonshire and give you the information you need to support yourself, or the ones you care for.
For more information please call 01536 452221.
Our inaugural BME conference
On 11 February 2019, we held the first of its kind conference in Northamptonshire on Black and Minority Ethnic Communities accessing mental health care. This conference is following the work undertaken as part of the ‘Moving Ahead’ project.
The conference brought together experts in the equality and mental health industry to talk about challenges BME people with mental health face and how organisations can improve service access to support them. The day included a packed agenda, with the morning covering topics on shaping services for BME communities, stigma in BME communities and lived experiences. In the afternoon there was a particular focus on the challenges we face in Northamptonshire and a talk on unconscious bias.
The conference saw local partners from across the county (including acute sector, Northants Police, EMAS, Northants Health and Wellbeing Board, Northants County Council, University of Northampton, Fire and Rescue and third part organisation colleagues) come together to join us on our journey to help reduce health inequalities in BME communities.
This is a positive move forward for the county and those within BME communities.