The government has been told it needs to take ‘urgent and concerted’ action to address the causes of poor mental health among young Black men in the UK.
A report from the Centre for Mental Health has argued structural change is vital to address the causes of poor mental health among young Black men in Britain.
The Shifting the Dial report is an evaluation of a three-year programme to promote better mental health among young Black men in Birmingham.
That community programme was run by a partnership of Birmingham Repertory Theatre, First Class Foundation, the Centre for Mental Health and Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.
It has called on the government to commit to tackling all forms of racism and discrimination, including in schools, policing, employment and healthcare.
It has also said the NHS needs to invest in tailored support for young Black men’s mental health in the next phase of its Long Term Plan.
The centre has called on charitable bodies to ensure Black-led organisations get fair access to funding, especially for programmes aiming to improve health in racialised communities.
Last month a review of journal articles by academics at the University of Manchester, University of Sheffield and University of Sussex found evidence of inequality across a broad range of professions in the NHS.
It highlighted inequality and discrimination faced by ethnic minority staff in the NHS, who were less likely it concluded to be shortlisted for jobs or promotions and more likely than their white counterparts to suffer abuse and harassment.
Of the latest report, Centre for Mental Health peer researcher Alex Augustine said: “Life as a young Black man in western society can have a huge negative impact on your mental health. One of the key findings from Shifting the Dial is the lack of mentors and role models that young Black men have to look up to, and the positive feelings in young people when they attend mentoring programmes or spaces.
“We need to do more to help Black men get into well paid employment, where they can make a living for themselves and be positive role models and mentors to younger generations,” Augustine added.