RITB are delighted to be able to share a recent keynote delivered by Raza Griffiths (above), lead author of the Kindred Minds Manifesto. Here’s what Raza said about the keynote:
I used the powerpoint as part of my opening keynote at a conference entitled “Psychological impacts of racial discrimination for both clients and practitioners”. The event was organised by practitioners from the British Psychological Society – which, as a professional body, has had a patchy history when it comes to addressing racism.
For this event, I looked primarily at the impact of racism on BME service users, drawing on my work in authoring “A Call for Social Justice” (2018). This is a manifesto written with contributions from 200 BME mental health service users, and spells out the changes they have said are needed to bring about a reduction in BME communities’ poor experiences within ‘mental health’.
The manifesto underlines the need for action against structural and institutionalised racism. It gives an overview of the current political climate and then identifies the changes in policy and practice across a range of interlinked life areas, including in education, policing and mental health, that BME service users have said will bring about an improvement in their mental wellbeing.
In mental health, this includes a move away from an exclusive focus on bio medical understandings of mental distress and towards support underpinned by a plurality of understandings of distress that BME communities can relate to; a move away from involuntary detention and treatment which are disproportionately used against BME communities; and foregrounding some of the good practice identified by the extensive writings of BME service user led initiatives over the years which are all too often ignored by campaigning groups and policy makers.
The conference took place on Friday 11th October 2019 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in Holborn, London
Links to the executive summary and full version of the manifesto can be found at the bottom of this webpage: https://www.nsun.org.uk/news/bme-mental-health-service-users-launch-manifesto