Published On: 24 November 2022

The Race Equality Foundation has today published a report on physical health checks for people with severe mental illness from Black African and Caribbean communities.

This project aimed to find out more about whether Black African and Caribbean people with SMI are aware of and are accessing physical health checks. We partnered with Sandwell African Caribbean Mental Health Foundation (SACMHF) in West Bromwich, African Caribbean Mental Health Services (ACMHS) in Manchester and Sheffield African Caribbean Mental Health Association (SACMHA) in Sheffield.

The work has been funded by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC)’s Health and Wellbeing Alliance.

The main points which arose from consultation with people with SMI and staff from specialist voluntary organisations included:
  • a variation in awareness of physical health checks, with significantly lower awareness in some locations;
  • a lack of engagement from health professionals with those with SMI not under the care of secondary care services, with regards to discussing physical health checks and why they are important;
  •  what measures could be implemented to support people to attend physical health checks
  • a lack of cultural awareness and fears of being sectioned again meant people were apprehensive about using services.

We also made recommendations to improve support with attendance at physical health checks.

Read the report here.