UK Mental Health Policy Mental Healthcare Service Essay

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UK Mental Health Policy

Mental healthcare service delivery in the UK has been subjected to a series of significant imperative policy in the last few decades, and number of people suffering from mental illness is on the increase. Recent statistics reveal that one out of four people in the UK has been diagnosed of mental problem. (Mental Health Foundation, 2013, Singleton, Bumpstead, O'Brien et al. Meltzer 2001). Although, mental disorders are widespread in the UK, however, mental disorders are predominant in some group than other group. (McGorry, Nordentoft, & Simonsen, 2005).

BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) group are four times more likely to experience psychosis than white people. (National Mental Health, 2010, Heller, et al. 1996). Evidence reveals that incidence of psychosis is significantly higher within Black-African and African-Caribbean groups than the White British Population living in the UK. (Cooper et al., 2008) . Black Caribbean have a record of 7 times of psychosis than the White British. (Harriss, 2007). The risk factors associated with mental illness include exclusion, stigma, racism discrimination, and social disadvantages. (Cooper et al., 2008) . Racism makes BME group to look different because of the belief than BME group are inferior than the White group. Impacts of racism are exclusion, stigma, discrimination, and social disadvantages, which consequently provokes mental illness. (Allen, 1997).

Objective of this report is to provide a critical analysis on the mental healthcare service delivery within social care practice for the BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) group.

Critical Analysis of mental Health Service Delivery for Black and Ethnic Minority Group

Provision of effective social support for people suffering from mental disorder has become challenging in the UK. A key challenge is that some ethnic groups are not receiving the equal mental health benefits compared to other groups in the UK. (Tummey, Turner, 2008). "People with mental health problems from Black and minority ethnic groups, women, asylum seekers and refugees are especially vulnerable to the consequences of oppression and discrimination." (Ray, et al. 2008, p.3).

Thus, "providing effective social support for people with mental health problems is a key challenge in an environment where the views of people who use services are seen as increasingly significant, where some social groups do not receive services fairly and equably, and where organizational structures are changing." (Ray, et al. 2008 p.1).

Social workers have a significant role to play in providing support to groups and individuals who may have negative experience to mental health service delivery. (Ray, Pugh, Roberts, et al. 2008). Different ethnic groups in the UK have different experiences about mental health problems based on their different cultural and social economic context. Black and minority ethnic group are likely to be more diagnosed of mental health problems than the British white group due to number of factors, which include racism, unemployment, exclusion, poor housing and poverty. (Churchill, 2011). Moreover, the mental health of black minority is likely to deteriorate because of social exclusion that this group of people experience in the UK. (Davidson, 2009). The major argument is that the mainstream of mental health services delivered to the minority group is gradually diminishing in the UK. (Coleman, and Smith, 2007) .Moreover, Black minority ethnic group in the UK is reluctant to be engaged in the mainstreams of health services. (Mental Health Association, 2012).

The 2005 and 2008 census results reveal that Caribbean and Black African communities are three times more likely to be hospitalized than the whole population . (Littlewood, and Lipsedge, 1997) .The same group are 44% more likely to be detained by the police. In 2009, police detention of the Black African, and Black Caribbean are higher than average.

In the UK, 8.94% of mental patients are Black and 4.52% of mental patients are Asian compared with 3.32% of mental health patients in England and Wales. (Office for National Statistics Census 2011).

"The 2000 EMPIRIC survey of mental illness in the community used large samples to examine the prevalence of common mental illness, such as depression and anxiety, in five ethnic minority groups (Bangladeshi, Black Caribbean, Indian, Pakistani) relative to a baseline White British group." ( National Mental Health development Unit 2010p.3).

The table below reveals relative prevalence of mental disorder by ethnicity.

Percentage of UK population with common mental disorder



Black Caribbean Bangladeshi







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Source: National Mental Health development Unit (2010).

From the data presented in the table, the African Caribbean records higher rate of mental illness than other black ethnic groups living in the UK. Moreover, African Caribbean is more likely to be admitted to mental home via the police or the courts, and they are more likely to be treated under the Mental Health Act than other ethnic groups in the UK. (American Psychiatric Association, 2004)

On the other hand, Asian people have better record of quickly recover from mental illness due to family support. Suicide rates are generally low among Asian people because western medical approach to the treatment of Asian people is unsuitable. (Heller, et al. 2009). However, there is a little record of Chinese suffering from mental disorder because many Chinese receive a strong support from family members. Moreover, Chinese are reluctant to receive mental health service in the UK because of the fear of stigmatization and shame. (Barnes, M and Maple, 1992).

The paper provides key theoretical ideas and process related to current mental health system and its application to the mental health service to the BME group.

1. Key theoretical ideas and processes within the current mental health system and how to apply these to practice situations.

Over the years, there has been a theoretical debate on the strategy healthcare professionals should employ to improve quality of life of patients. (Singleton, Bumpstead, O'Brien et al. Meltzer 2001). Medical model views abnormal behavior as a state of physiological problem and should be treated medically. From the perspective of medical model, medical professionals should study underlying pathological disorder of patients in an attempt to cure the disease and correct the abnormality. Concerning mental illness, the mental disorder lies within the individual's brain, and medical treatment such as medication and drugs should be directed to correct imbalance in the brain. (Breggin, 1993). Following the medical model perspectives, medical professionals use medical intervention for the treatment of mental health patients. For example, antipsychotic medications have been proven effective to treat acute psychosis as well as reducing the risk of future psychotic episodes. (WebMd, 2013).

The most popular drugs to treat depression include:

Fluoxetine (Prozac),

Citalopram (Celexa),

Sertraline (Zoloft),

Paroxetine (Paxil),

Escitalopram (Lexapro). (Read. 2009).

Medical professionals such as psychiatrists also apply the system theory to understand and address people's problem by exploring pattern of behavior of individual. The system theory argues that there is a need for an integrated approach to therapy, and the strategy is to focus on the cognitive and behavioral pattern of an individual in solving his or her problem. (Reeves, 2000, Warren, 2007). Essentially, mental healthcare professionals use the system theoretical perspective to deliver therapy to people suffering from mental problems. (Thomson, 2000). The goal of system therapy is to gain insight into member role and relates it to the health functionally. (Hornstein, 2009, Webber, 2008)).The technique is to identify a specific behavior of people and identify how their member leads to a mental problem. Using this technique, healthcare professional can transform behavior of people suffering from mental problems into more adaptive and productive behaviors. (Wilson, 1995) .The system therapy is able to attain positive objective by assisting people with mental problems to attain state of positive well-being. (Rogers, Pilgrim, 2010, Friedman, & Allen, 2009). Healthcare professionals such as psychiatrists have been applying the system therapy to assist people to cope with stress, anger, depression, loneliness, phobia and other health problems that could lead to mental health problem. (Romme, 2000).

On the other hand, social model argues that social attributes are the main cause of mental illness, and social attributes such as unemployment, poverty, and poor housing can be linked to mental disorder among people. (Johnstone, 2004, Johnstone, 2005). The social model also points out BME has been put at the lower social class in the society. Major intervention to address the problem of mental disorder is to implement a policy to address problems of poverty, unemployment, poor housing and remove social injustice from the society. (Duggan, Cooper, & Foster. 2002). Mental illness is higher among BME group in the UK because poverty and unemployment rates are prevalent among this group. (Johnstone, 2000)......

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