Black and minority mental health in the UK: Challenges and solutions

Elsevier, Forensic Science International: Mind and Law, Volume 1, November 2020
Authors: 
Bhugra D., Wijesuriya R., Gnanapragasam S., Persaud A.

The current Covid-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the differential rates of morbidity and mortality in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups particularly in the United Kingdom (UK). Furthermore, the multiple deaths, shootings and murders of Black individuals in the United States of America (USA) have brought greater public attention onto this issue. These events, as well as the subsequent campaign around the world on Black Lives Matter, have once again highlighted a number of differences across racial and ethnic divides (Devakumar et al., 2020; E: Covid-19 understandi, 2020). These have been further exacerbated by structural and institutional racism which in turn has been activated by politicians in many countries such as the USA, the UK, Hungary, Brazil and elsewhere (Gravlee, 2020; Krieger, 2020; Oliveira et al., 2020). In many countries around the globe, minorities in general have faced and continue to experience tremendous discrimination in a number of fields, including education, employment and health including access to healthcare (Pager & Shepherd, 2008). High death rates among ethnic minorities due to Covid-19 in the UK have been attributed to a number of factors such as occupation, income inequality, poverty, overcrowding, high ethnic density, pre-existing chronic physical co-morbid conditions (such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, chronic lung disease etc) and other behavioural factors such as smoking (E: Covid-19 understandi, 2020).