Evidence-based Mind research shows that young black men are far more likely than others to be diagnosed with severe mental health problems, and are also far more likely to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act. However, up until 11 years old, black boys don’t have poorer mental health than others of their age.
There are multiple reasons for this, including stigma, cultural barriers and systemic discrimination, all of which are more directly experienced by young black men as they grow older. Mind’s work with young black men is specifically focused around prevention, building personal resilience so young black people can avoid becoming so unwell they need to access services.
Mind’s ground-breaking 300 Voices project ran as a partnership between Time to Change and three Mental Health NHS Foundation Trusts. The work focused on reducing the stigma and discrimination that can exist in mental health hospitals and the police. It also looked at developing the capacity of young black men to take greater control of their mental health and wellbeing. The project brought together staff from a range of services, people with lived experiences of mental health problems and community representatives to explore how to improve young black men’s experience of mental health problems.
Mind is at the forefront of fighting discrimination on behalf of young black men in danger of being diagnosed with severe mental health problems. To find out more about their innovative projects and to download useful toolkits, visit www.mind.org.uk