Magazine article Public Finance

Mental Health Services Still Showing Inequality, Census Reveals

Magazine article Public Finance

Mental Health Services Still Showing Inequality, Census Reveals

Article excerpt

Unacceptable race inequalities persist in mental health services despite an extra £16m being spent on the problem, campaigners said this week.

An unpublished census, seen by Public Finance, reinforces evidence that ethnic minorities are overrepresented in psychiatric hospitals.

The 'Count me in' census for 2O06 was expected to have been published in December, but has yet to emerge. The census, conducted each year by the Healthcare Commission and the Mental Health Act Commission, forms a central plank of the government's Delivering Race Equality framework. This was launched in 2005 and backed with £16m, and was drawn up in response to the death of David 'Rocky' Bennett, an AfroCaribbean man who died in psychiatric care in 1998.

The 2006 census reveals findings similar to its predecessor report: mental health admissions for black groups are still three to four times higher than average, while black people are up to 38% more likely to be sectioned than average.

Matilda MacAttram, director of the campaigning group Black Mental Health UK, told PF: 'The 20O6 census tells us that absolutely nothing has been done to address problems outlined in the Bennett inquiry report. …

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