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Training to redress racial disadvantage in mental health care: race equality or cultural competence?

Joanna Bennett (School of Nursing, University of the West Indies, Jamaica)
Frank Keating (Department of Health and Social Care, Royal Holloway University, London)

Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care

ISSN: 1757-0980

Article publication date: 1 June 2008

Abstract

It has been acknowledged that the disparities and inequalities for black and minority ethnic (BME) communities in mental health in the United Kingdom (UK) has reached such proportions that it is considered a public health issue. This paper reviews training as one of the strategies that have been employed to address these inequalities and draws on a historical review and a scoping exercise in England which mapped approaches to race equality training in mental health services. The historical review showed that the concept of race and racism has been replaced by culturalism as an explanation for all racial inequalities and is the central framework for race equality training. Whilst the survey showed that the majority of mental health services were providing training for their staff, there is much fragmentation and a lack of robust evaluation demonstrating effectiveness. While education and training have a key role to play in developing knowledge and skills to address racial inequality, current approaches are fundamentally flawed.

Keywords

Citation

Bennett, J. and Keating, F. (2008), "Training to redress racial disadvantage in mental health care: race equality or cultural competence?", Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 52-59. https://doi.org/10.1108/17570980200800008

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited