Better mental healthcare for minority ethnic groups - Moving away from the blame game and putting patients first: Commentary on ... Institutional racism in psychiatry

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Abstract

Comments on the original article "Institutional racism in psychiatry: Lessons from inquiries," by S. P. Singh (see record 2007-15739-002). Providing better mental healthcare for the Black and minority ethnic population often requires much more than the efforts of the individual clinician. Problems may range from getting the right interpreters when they are needed, for as long as they are needed, to accessing psychotherapy and social service help for refugees and asylum seekers. Most of us have little training in negotiating differences in illness models, diagnostic labels and preferred pathways to care and treatment for a multicultural society (Department of Health, 2005). All of these difficulties and more are reflected in the literature on disparities in care between ethnic groups in the UK (Sashidharan, 2003). These problems are not the fault of clinicians but reflect the need for a concerted, coherent effort at an institutional level. Those using the institutional racism paradigm to understand disparities and develop solutions focus on systems not individuals (McKenzie, 1999). Tackling these disparities requires institutions to take responsibility for producing an environment that develops and supports sustainable, effective, ethical interventions targeted at delivering equitable services. Unfortunately, when institutions are challenged to do this they often do not take responsibility. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)

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McKenzie, K., & Bhui, K. (2007, October). Better mental healthcare for minority ethnic groups - Moving away from the blame game and putting patients first: Commentary on ... Institutional racism in psychiatry. Psychiatric Bulletin. https://doi.org/10.1192/pb.bp.107.017145

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