Our focus at Time to Change is to end mental health stigma and discrimination, and we stand against discrimination of any kind.
The Black Lives Matter movement, and the disproportionate impact that Covid-19 is having on BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) communities in the UK, have highlighted the racial inequalities and systemic injustices faced by BAME people today and has compelled us to reflect on and review our own practices.
As a team of predominately white people we recognise our white privilege and the unconscious bias that results. This has an impact: not only does it perpetuate the structural racism that we know is present in our communities and organisations but it negatively effects our ability to reach BAME people.
BAME people often face layered stigma which can trigger or exacerbate any mental health problems that are experienced and lead to delays in seeking help. This heightened level of stigma and discrimination for example, contributes to the fact that black men in particular are four times more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act than white people in the UK.
While we have made some steps forward in tackling the layered stigma that black people face we know we have a long way to go, both internally in acknowledging and mitigating our privilege and externally in how we ensure that the multi-layered impact of mental health stigma and discrimination and race are addressed. As we plan the future of our campaign beyond 2021, we have already earmarked this as a vital area of work.
We are run by our charity partners, Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and we will work closely with them as they address these issues to ensure that our practices are aligned and embedded.