Alarm Over Rising Detention Rates of Blacks, Other Minorities

December 10, 2008 at 8:10 am Leave a comment

Church groups in the UK have voiced concerns over the findings in the fourth national census of the ethnicity of all patients in the NHS psychiatric hospitals. The “Count Me In” 2008 report revealed that detention rates for people from African and Caribbean communities continue to exceed that of all other ethnic groups.

The report also reveals that the number of people from ethnic minorities admitted to psychiatric hospitals has risen year over year since 2005. Leaders from the African Caribbean Evangelical Alliance, the Council of Black-Led Churches and Christian’s Together in Brent are among the church groups that have slammed the findings. Almost one third of inpatients (30 per cent) included in the 2007 census were still in hospital for the 2008 census, while almost a fifth (19 per cent) of patients in the 2006 census were still in hospital in 2008.
     Dr Bishop Joe Aldred, chair of Council of Black-Led Churches, expressed his disappointment at the findings.
     “In spite of the Department of Health’s stated determination to reduce the level of poor mental health among BME (black minority ethnic) and especially the black community, after four years of monitoring the situation shows no sign of a reduction,” he said.
     The latest census report also shows that black patients in particular continue to be misdiagnosed, over medicated, forcibly restrained and placed in seclusion at higher rates than their white counterparts while in care.
     “The government has spent money on community development workers, but it’s not translated locally,” Pastor Ade Omooba, of Christian Concern for Our Nation said. “In the last four years no improvements have been made. One significant area where input is needed is in 24 hour independent advocacy. If this were available at the point of assessment it would bring change and it’d be a lot cheaper than keeping people locked up on secure wards year after year.”
     The findings cast doubt over the effectiveness of the government’s £20 million Delivering Race Equality programmed to address the discrimination faced by minority groups who use mental health services. The program is the government’s response to the David Bennett Inquiry report into the death of David Bennett, a black man who died while being restrained by staff at a medium secure unit nearly 10 years ago.
Source: ChristianToday

Entry filed under: African-American, Health. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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