As MHF highlighted during NMHW 2006, men in general are often unable to identify themselves as having a mental health problem, have a low level of awareness of the available services, are reluctant to seek help for mental health problems and can find many of the services unsuitable or unappealing (e.g. certain types of counselling or therapy). This range of problems is even greater amongst many BME men who may also, for instance, feel there is a particular stigma attached to developing a mental health problem or believe that the mental health system will discriminate against them.
It is known that young African-Caribbean men are much more likely to receive a diagnosis of schizophrenia, are more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act and less likely to be offered psychological treatments. Asian men have a high incidence of compulsory admission to psychiatric institutions and a low uptake of after-care services. Irish men have a particularly high suicide rate while Chinese men are generally reluctant to express emotions or to seek help with emotional problems, in large part because within Chinese culture men are taught from a very early age that expressing emotions is a sign of weakness.
There are currently few resources available for men on mental health issues and even fewer for BME men. There is also little awareness among healthcare professionals about how to engage effectively with BME men.
MHF has received a grant from the Deprtment of Health to develop a project which will look to explore the experiences of men from different ethnic groups in terms of their mental health and their perceptions of assocated support services and which will look to develop good practice around guidance and resources for practitioners. The outcomes for this piece of work will include
(1) Publication of findings which will provide a better understanding of BME men's beliefs, attitudes and behaviours in respect of mental health.
(2) Recommendations for model resources for BME men on mental health and guidance for practitioners on who to engage with BME men around the issue of mental wellbeing.
(3) Dissemination of the project's findings through a written report.
The project is due for completion in the autumn 2009 and links in with the Forum's broader scoping study around men and mental health.
Page created on July 8th, 2004
Page updated on January 14th, 2010