Cultural Diversity, Mental Health and Psychiatry: The Struggle against Racism

By Suman Fernando | Go to book overview

Chapter 2

Responding to racism, addressing culture

In this chapter I use the term 'black' in a 'political' or general sense to include Asian and other minority ethnic communities affected adversely by racism. The struggle against racism has not been easy. In the mental health field the response to the problems identified as 'ethnic issues' has been diverse and variable. In the UK there has emerged a 'black voluntary sector' attempting to provide services that aim to meet the needs of black (and Asian) people, but far too often projects have become corrupted or seduced into ineffectiveness. Attempts have been made in the statutory sector to address some of the problems-although these have been sporadic and often unsustained-usually by instituting training courses for staff and consulting with service users. The accounts in this chapter are a mixture of observations and analysis of information in the public domain, and personal views and experiences. The latter are based largely on what I have seen, heard about and experienced, backed up by efforts that I have made over the years in keeping up with what goes on in the field. References I make to Europe and countries in North America are sporadic and inconsistent because my own contacts and experience outside Britain are limited.


Struggle against racism

Racism has always been a problem for black people in Britain. They have struggled against it on two inter-connected fronts. First in direct confrontation by challenging racism at various levels-as prejudiced behaviour, racial attacks and institutional racism. Second, by getting together in various ways to support each other, forming self-help groups, etc. But none of this has been plain sailing. Stated intentions of the government to counteract racism

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Cultural Diversity, Mental Health and Psychiatry: The Struggle against Racism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figure, Tables and Boxes x
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - Background 9
  • Chapter 1 - Racism and Cultural Diversity 11
  • Chapter 2 - Responding to Racism, Addressing Culture 46
  • Part II - Underlying Themes 87
  • Chapter 3 - Psychiatry and Mental Health from a Transcultural Perspective 89
  • Chapter 4 - Psychiatric Stigma and Racism 146
  • Part III - Changing Practice 169
  • Chapter 5 - Moving Forward 171
  • Chapter 6 - Future Prospects 208
  • References 218
  • Index 243
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