The South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust is holding a unique event in Huddersfield to look at mental health services for the BME (black minority and ethnic) communities in Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield.
NHS staff, representatives from voluntary organisations and people who use mental health services and their carers will be attending the event –which will be held at canal side west, Huddersfield University, 9.30am – 3.30pm on Thursday 19th April.
The event is being organised by PALS (patient advice and liaison worker) Aboobaker Bhana who recently won a national ‘Positive Practice award’ for his work with Asian people with mental health problems in Dewsbury. He hopes to share his experiences with other service providers at the event and look at other innovative ways to work with BME people with mental health problems.
Aboobaker said, "We need to make sure that mental health services respond to the needs of the diverse communities we serve, so that everyone who needs to use them is treated equally, and has their individual needs respected. This event is a great opportunity to share ideas and look at ways of improving services for the black minority and ethnic community in the local area."
The event will include contributions from leading speakers who will outline the national picture on the ‘Delivering race equality in mental health care action plan’ (a government initiative to achieve equality and tackle discrimination in mental health services in England for all BME people) and discuss how this can be achieved locally.
Attendees at the event will also work to identify current gaps in service provisions and how these can be met, including looking at employing more staff from BME backgrounds.