Published On: 10 May 2022

Commenting on plans to reform the Mental Health Act mentioned in the Queen’s Speech, Jabeer Butt OBE, CEO of the Race Equality Foundation said:

“Action on racial inequalities in mental health is long overdue. The Government’s focus on the struggles of Black African and Caribbean people, particularly in being detained under the Mental Health Act, is a real positive. Sir Simon Wessely’s 2018 independent review was the latest to show how systemic racism was exacerbating the inequalities experienced by Black, Asian and minority ethnic people with poor mental health. But as we argued in our 2020 mental health report, any steps taken need to show real and material change to the whole of the care pathway, from prevention, to assessment, to therapeutic intervention to sustained recovery.

“We also need to see better support for family members, as well as addressing the wider determinants that exacerbate mental health inequalities, such as poverty, comparatively poorer housing, greater risk of being in fragile employment and living in areas where GP practices are more likely to be poorly rated while also more likely to receive less funding per patient.  A systemic problem needs systemic change.”


Notes to editors

1. Press contact: / 07593 454182

2. About the Race Equality Foundation

The Race Equality Foundation is a national charity tackling racial inequality across public services to improve the lives of Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. We do this by:

  • Exploring what is known about discrimination and disadvantage
  • Developing evidence-based better practice to promote equality
  • Sharing better practice through educational activities, conferences, written & online material
  • Working with national and local partners from the community, voluntary, statutory and social enterprise sectors.

The Foundation was established in 1987 as part of the National Institute for Social Work and was known as the Race Equality Unit. It became an independent charitable organisation in 1995, and in 2006, changed its name to the Race Equality Foundation.