Mental illness to be tackled at Lambeth community event


African and Carribean communities are more likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness.


By Rachel Jenkins

Lambeth’s African and Caribbean communities are being given the chance to have their say on mental illness at an event taking place tomorrow.

Black communities in Lambeth are more likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness compared to their ethnic neighbours, with recent figures showing that they are over 40% more likely to be referred to mental health services through the criminal justice system.

The NHS, alongside Lambeth Council, has been developing ideas to help prevent the illness and improve access to more appropriate services in the area.

The organisations now want to hear what people have to say on these issues as well as testing out some of their ideas.

Lambeth Councillor  Ed Davie, co-chair of the Lambeth black health and wellbeing board commission, said:  “Black people make up just a quarter of Lambeth’s population yet almost three quarters of the borough’s residents in secure mental health units are of African or Caribbean descent. We have to find a better way to support and help people.”

Fellow co-chair Jacqui Dyer, who has used mental health services as well as cared for others, said: “This is an opportunity for Lambeth council, NHS and Lambeth’s African and black Caribbean population to together create recommendations for improving their health and wellbeing. I am delighted to be a part of this process.”

A spokesperson from South London and Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Foundation Trust said: This event is an ideal opportunity for us to provide information about our services to give people a greater understanding of how they can access appropriate care.

“At SLaM we strive to provide the best patient experience for everyone. We are aware that in Lambeth there are high rates of mental illness and we are working continuously to address this.”

They continued: “People attending the event will be able to chat with staff and service users about how we are doing this and can find out more about talking therapies, wellbeing, recovery, patient experiences and early intervention.”

Among the speakers will be the Leader of Lambeth council, Cllr Lib Peck, chief executive Derrick Anderson and the new chief executive of the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust Matthew Patrick.

‘From Surviving to Thriving’ is a free event that takes place tomorrow (Saturday March 15) at Lambeth Town Hall from 10am to 3pm. If interested email [email protected] to book a place.

Photo courtesy of Mahlum, with thanks.  

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