CAMHS Alliance position statement against racism and racial discrimination
The CAMHS Alliance and its constituent organisations exist with the ultimate goal to create a system that meets the mental health needs of every child and young person in City and Hackney.
Recent events have compelled us to examine and take action against the multifaceted nature of racism in our society. We recognise that racism and racial discrimination adversely affect mental health and are two of several factors leading to mental health care disparities.
In order to achieve our goal and ensure that all individuals have access to early, effective and appropriate mental health support that is free of racism and racial discrimination, the CAMHS Alliance is committed to:
- Explicitly and publicly affirming our identity as an anti-racist alliance and embedding anti-racism into our structures, policies and practices
- Being aware and recognising the impact of racism and discrimination on accessing mental health care and in perpetuating inequalities
- Providing better access to talking therapies according to local need, and engagement with black and minority ethnic communities to ensure the therapies and tools used are culturally appropriate and geographically accessible
- Being more constructive in working with the voluntary sector, community sector and faith groups
- Raising awareness to ensure that our practitioners have a better understanding of cultural and faith beliefs of black and minority ethnic communities, and how this impacts on beliefs and behaviours around mental health
- Raising awareness to ensure that our practitioners are also aware of the role of unconscious bias, and how this can impact their practice and delivery
- Taking action on better collation of the data on different black and minority ethnic groups’ usage of mental health services to enable specific research to address barriers to accessing services
- Continuing to work closely with our communities to ensure services are accessible and non-stigmatising
- Using co-production to involve more black and minority ethnic people in patient, public involvement in NHS England and Public Health England
- Working towards getting a more representative workforce to reflect City & Hackney’s diverse communities
As individuals and organisations we acknowledge that racism is embedded in the very fabric of our society. Therefore we need to purposefully identify, discuss and challenge issues of race and the impacts they have on our organisations, systems and individuals. We will challenge ourselves to understand and correct any inequalities we may discover and gain better understanding of ourselves during this purposeful process.
 (Reference: Racial Disparities in Mental Health: Literature and evidence review).
 (Reference: http://www.psychchange.org/embed-anti-racism-in-the-nhs.html).