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Our Statement on Black Lives Matter (2 July 2020)

We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement. Everyone at Health in Mind has been truly saddened by the events that have led to the most recent protests across the world.

We have been using this time to pause and reflect on our organisation, to look at what role we can play, and what changes we must make to help the fight for equality.

We fully believe in a world where every Black person feels seen, heard and respected. We believe in a world where they have the social, economic and political power to live their lives to the fullest. To do this, we must build a community that is bonded together by equality, respect and compassion.

At Health in Mind, one of our values at the heart of everything we do is inclusivity. We are keen to break down the barriers that are too often experienced by people from Black and ethnic minority communities.

Research and our own experience tells us that Black people often face unique challenges that can impact their mental health, including discrimination,(1,2) social and economic inequalities (3,4), and this in turn creates barriers to accessing the right support at the right time. It is twenty years since we published our ‘Silence of the Lads’ research on the mental health needs of Black and ethnic minority men and we are proud to continue to offer our Equal Access service supporting all people from Black and minority ethnic communities which has grown out of this earlier work.

We know that there is more to do.

We want and need to do our part to bring about positive change, and we pledge to the following in the coming year.

  • Continue to foster an environment where every voice is welcome, heard and respected
  • Form an equality and diversity group, ensuring inclusion is ongoing and embedded across the organisation
  • Provide all staff and volunteers with diversity and inclusion training, including anti-racism and unconscious bias
  • Look at our governance and leadership, working to promote a racially diverse team 
  • Update our communications materials and job adverts, explicitly showing our solidarity and that we are welcoming to all
  • Regularly review our equality and diversity policy
  • Further develop our work in partnership with organisations and individuals from ethnic minority communities

We also recognise that this is just a start, and that further steps will need to be taken.

We’ll publish updates on our progress and report back on our commitments in a year where we will also clearly outline the next steps we will take as an organisation.

We will actively work to stand with the Black Lives Matter Movement and other ethnic minority communities to do what we can to bring about positive change. This is a fight that we all have a role to play, and we urge those in our community to stand with us.

References

1. Williams D.R. (2018) Stress and the Mental Health of Populations of Color: Advancing Our Understanding of Race-related Stressors. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 59(4), 466-485.

2. Gibbons F.X., O’Hara R.E., Stock M.L., et al. (2012) The erosive effects of racism: reduced self-control mediates the relation between perceived racial discrimination and substance use in African American adolescents. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102(5), 1089-104.

3. Powell A. (22 May 2019) Unemployment by ethnic background, Briefing Paper Number 6385. [Accessed 01/06/20].

4. Barnard H. & Turner C. (May 2011) Poverty and ethnicity: A review of evidence. Available at: https://www.jrf.org.uk/sites/default/files/jrf/migrated/files/poverty-ethnicity-evidence-summary.pdf [Accessed 01/06/20].

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