Tackling race inequalities: community development, mental health and diversity

Philip Thomas (Centre for Citizenship and Community Mental Health)
Paul Henderson (Montfort University)
Carol Munn‐Giddings (Institute of Health & Social Care, Anglia Ruskin University)
Salma Yasmeen (Bradford Teaching Primary Care Trust)

Journal of Public Mental Health

ISSN: 1746-5729

Publication date: 1 June 2006


This paper describes some findings from an evaluation of the effectiveness of a community development project that aimed to overcome inequalities in mental health care experienced by members of the local black and minority ethnic (BME) communities. A participatory action research design was used, involving people from BME communities who had experienced mental health problems and external stakeholders. The study relied largely on qualitative methodology. Findings reported here indicate that participants in the project valued the culturally and spiritually relevant support they received, but felt that more opportunities were needed for training and employment, greater representation on the project's management committee, and greater awareness of the project in the community. External stakeholders felt that the project gained credibility from its community base and valued its ability to work across faith traditions and cultures. It was also seen as successful in acting as a bridge between the communities and statutory services, although there were concerns about the project's relationship with frontline services. The paper proposes two models of community development that primary care trusts may wish to adopt ‐ radical or consensus, or a mixture of both ‐ in order to address inequalities in mental health service provision.



Thomas, P., Seebohm, P., Henderson, P., Munn‐Giddings, C. and Yasmeen, S. (2006), "Tackling race inequalities: community development, mental health and diversity", Journal of Public Mental Health, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 13-19. https://doi.org/10.1108/17465729200600014

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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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