Barriers To Appropriate Mental Health Care For Bme Communities: Psychiatrists’ Perspective

Article Title: Barriers To Appropriate Mental Health Care For Bme Communities: Psychiatrists’ Perspective

Author(s): Iftikhar Ahmad and Rashda Tabassum

Institute(s): Dudley and Walsall mental health partnership NHS Trust, Dorothy Pattison Hospital, Alum well Close WS2 9XH, United Kingdom.

Journal: Journal of Pakistan Psychiatric Society, 2009, Vol. 6, No. 1, p. 27-32

Correspondence Address: Iftikhar.ahmad@dwmh.nhs.uk; rashda.tabassum@dwmh.nhs.uk

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to explore psychiatrists’ understanding of the referral rates, perceived barriers to accessing mental health services by the black and ethnic minorities and identify any training needs.

Design: Cross sectional study.

Place and duration of study: The study was conducted across the Midlands and Staffordshire, including Walsall, Wolverhampton, Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent United Kingdom. Data was collected between November and December 2007.

Subjects and Methods: A questionnaire was developed to collect the relevant information. The questionnaire was short by design, to try to enhance the response rate. It was sent by post with an explanatory covering letter and a reply paid envelope for its return. The survey population consisted of psychiatrists, including SHOs, SAS doctors, and consultants working in these areas.

Results: The majority of respondents identified language barriers, social stigma and reluctance to use services as the main barriers to mental health services by the Black and ethnic minority (BME) community.

Conclusion: Stigma and Poor communication were found to be the main barrier in accessing services. Transcultural training is likely to help to address some of the issues identified.

Key words: Black and Ethnic Minorities (BME), Barriers, Stigma, Language, Access to Services

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