The aim of this paper is to provide a conceptual framework for understanding how, even in the absence of identifiable racist behaviours by white people and predominantly white institutions, African Caribbean people can suffer detriment to their mental health due to toxicity in interactions.
This paper was developed through a desktop review of literature that analyses the factors that cause the sustained variation in experience and outcome in mental health for people from African Caribbean backgrounds.
Prior experiences of personalised racism (interpersonal and institutional) and an awareness of non‐personalised racism in society creates conditions which mean that African Caribbean people experience toxicity in their dealings with white people and white institutions, including mental health services. This is detrimental to service user outcomes.
The paper provides a language for the process that leads to negative outcomes for African Caribbean people in mental health services resulting from interactions with white people or white institutions even in the absence of racism or racist events directed at them.
Sewell, H. (2012), "Toxic interaction theory: one reason why African Caribbean people are over‐represented in psychiatric services and potential solutions", Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 12-17. https://doi.org/10.1108/17570981211286741Download as .RIS
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