In England and Wales, nearly a fifth of people come from a BAME background. Women, on the other hand, make up over half (50.8%) of the resident population of England and Wales and at the last census in 2011, 13.9% or 3.9 million of these women were from a BAME background. Yet, BAME communities are comparatively at higher risk of ill mental health and disproportionately impacted by social determinants associated with mental illness, a report by the Race and Equality Foundation has found.
It is also important to note that different ethnic groups have different experiences of mental health problems that reflect their culture and context. Given that BAME covers a wide range of people from a diverse range of background, better understanding of cultural and faith beliefs for BAME communities will help designing services to promote recovery and addressing culturally sensitive barriers to accessing these services.
While BAME people in general often face individual and societal challenges that affect access to healthcare and overall mental and physical health, BAME women feel both more anxious and less supported in society. Although various reports suggest that there is a high rate of women from BAME backgrounds experiencing mental health problems, researches in this area are limited and campaigns to improve the mental health of BAME women leave much to be desired.
The panel will explore the reason behind the absence of complete data on this topic across the nations of the UK and look further into BAME women’s experience in accessing mental health care service.