Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups in the UK (also critically referred to as BAME) encompass a wide range of different ethnicities which are diverse and culturally rich. Making up a smaller percentage of the overall UK 'Non-BAME', although this large category is grouped together, they will have many dissimilarities and diverse needs between groups.
However, the challenges that they may experience due to factors such as racism, stigma and discrimination, poverty & unemployment, poor housing, health outcomes and lack of opportunities unfortunately maybe the main commonality between different ethnic groups.
Then the added issues of intersectionality such as sexism, religionism and/or homophobia may also compound additional racial/cultural stress and poor wellbeing of these community groups.
These additional factors combined with the normal challenges and stressor of life, parenting, work, finances will make this group more vulnerable and susceptible to poor health or low wellbeing.
The impact of these negative factors are further highlighted in the research on the disproportional rates of mental health issues experienced by this community group, (although racial trauma is less reported).
For example, research shows that Black people are four times more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act than White people.
Older South Asian women are an at-risk group for suicide. (https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/explore-mental-health/a-z-topics/black-asian-and-minority-ethnic-bame-communities).
Black women are more likely to experience a common mental illness such as anxiety disorder or depression and Black men are more likely to experience psychosis. (https://www.rethink.org/advice-and-information/living-with-mental-illness/information-on-wellbeing-physical-health-bame-lgbtplus-and-studying/black-asian-and-minority-ethnic-mental-health/)
As well as the research highlighting the inequalities that exist such as the lack of talking therapies offered to this group over medication or the barriers when trying to access health services and the lack of culturally-appropriate services.
There is also the cultural stigma of receiving support and asking for help among some of the BAME community groups which may also lead to late intervention and crisis support rather than preventative intervention.
So as highlighted by the research of these additional experiences and challenges, keeping well for BAME communities is paramount in order to thrive.
We provide three tips below to help.
3 Tips to Support Wellbeing
1. Endorse healthy practices such as exercising regularly and eating a balance diet, which will help to manage both your physical and mental wellbeing. Especially racial health disparities eg high rates of diabetes often found among black and Asian groups.
2. Connect with culturally appropriate groups/organisations may help you feel more connected, understood, seen/heard, supported and valued. These group may also have the added advantage of catering for your specific culture/religious needs, connecting you with like-minded people/network and support your specific interest/needs/requirements .
3. Don’t be afraid to challenge services/organisation who have a ‘duty to care’ to support you or your GP, if you feel your needs are not being met or ignored. Empower yourself by learning ‘your rights’, you may also request culturally appropriate therapist, practitioners or services if you feel that it will be beneficial.
Muslim Woman Helpline: MWN Helpline UK
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