A look back to 2012…
After decades of lobbying governments to address the disproportionately poor outcomes of people from black and minority ethnic groups (BME) in mental health services in Britain, psychiatrist Suman Fernando claims that under the coalition government there is a “huge” risk of race “falling under the radar altogether”.
Fernando, 80, has this week launched his latest initiative, an informal inquiry into the effects on individuals of a diagnosis of schizophrenia – a serious condition applied to some groups more than others, and especially to black men. “When the label of schizophrenia is attached to people it can cause serious problems through increasing stigma and undermining the humanity of people,” he explains.
Fernando wants also to draw attention to what is unfolding now within the NHS and the government, and says conditions are “going to get worse generally across the health service” for BME patients, because amid all the upheaval of NHS reforms the sidelining of “vital” issues around race and mental health provision is going unnoticed.