Race, Culture, and Ethnicity in Secure Psychiatric Practice: Working with Difference

Race, Culture, and Ethnicity in Secure Psychiatric Practice: Working with Difference

Race, Culture, and Ethnicity in Secure Psychiatric Practice: Working with Difference

Race, Culture, and Ethnicity in Secure Psychiatric Practice: Working with Difference

Synopsis

This text provides essential and often controversial information and analysis which exposes society's view of minorities and the influence these views may have on care professionals working in this field.

Excerpt

Charles Kaye

Hapley, for I am black.

Othello

This chapter draws a picture, both nationally in the UK and specifically within the National Health Service (NHS), of disadvantage for ethnic minorities. It presents briefly evidence illustrating aspects of such disadvantage over a range of social institutions. Finally it describes the current position with regard to both staff and patients in the Forensic Psychiatric Service.

NATIONAL CONTEXT

In most of the social institutions in the UK that are responsible for providing facilities, controlling behaviour or meeting need, there is evidence of problems arising from inequality and prejudice focused on minorities within the community. The minorities are usually immigrant groups, for instance from Ireland, the Indian subcontinent, the Caribbean or Africa, and the problems are a compound of the disadvantages clustering around low income and status and of disdain and resentment expressed (towards the ‘newcomers’) by many of the surrounding majority. The very institutions which struggle to meet the difficulties are themselves, since they are broadly of the majority, flawed by the prejudice they formally condemn.

While leaders, the law and official policies are firmly united in condemning prejudice and promoting equality, the practice of society and its institutions demonstrates repeatedly that discrimination against minorities is ingrained in our social fabric. The most cursory scrutiny of the media and journals will provide evidence of this and of the exasperatingly slow pace of change. The thick slit of prejudice remains in a stubborn layer and only requires the slightest agitation for it to colour the mainstream of our lives. The working of our . . .

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