Black Lives Matter, Racism, Race Inequalities and Mental Health
The CASS team have been very saddened by recent events in the US, and by some of the reactions to Black Lives Matter protests around this and wider racial injustices in the UK. We understand and acknowledge the upset, frustration and fear people in Bristol, especially from Black communities, are feeling. Coupled with the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, we know this is a time when mental wellbeing will be affected and access to information and services is especially important.
Both of these situations have had a particular impact on the diverse CASS team, some of whom have been impacted personally and who have remained committed to their work while dealing with their own anxieties and feelings of being overwhelmed. In addition, as BAME staff who work to support race equality there has been a particular toll on our own wellbeing as we have had our own personal experiences to manage and navigate during this period. We know our feelings and experiences are echoed by many of our BAME colleagues in partner organisations and in the community.
The climate around racism, increasing levels of racist hate crime and poor health outcomes reinforced by the pandemic resonate with CASS’s ongoing work around tackling inequalities and providing mental health information to the diverse communities of Bristol. We continue to work directly with all communities to ensure everyone has the right information to access to mental health services when needed, to challenge stigma and increase understanding of mental health and wellbeing, and at a strategic level to ensure services are representative, appropriate and accessible to BAME people. CASS is continuing to work in partnership with BAME led services like Nilaari Agency, community and faith groups as well as supporting the Bristol BAME Mental Health Network.
We recognise that communities often need specific resources and spaces, and have put together a list of materials people might find useful at the moment, including our own resources developed with BAME people particularly in mind.
Support for BAME people
CASS Leaflet – Emotional Wellbeing for BAME People - https://www.cassbristol.org/download/emotional-wellbeing-for-bame-people/
Nilaari’s phone support sessions - https://www.nilaari.co.uk/ - 0117 962 5742
SARI - https://www.sariweb.org.uk/ - 0800 171 2272
Bristol Hate Crime & Discrimination Service - https://www.bhcds.org.uk/report
Spark & Co – BAME MH resources - https://sparkandco.co.uk/resources/mental-health-and-wellbeing/
Statement from Babbasa - https://babbasa.com/how-do-we-build-a-more-just-equitable-and-inclusive-society-from-here/
Bristol Libraries online service, with a range of books on the BLM theme - https://bristollibraries.overdrive.com/
Black African and Asian Therapists Network - resources including videos suitable for young children - https://www.baatn.org.uk/well-being/
A Parent’s Guide to Black Lives Matter - https://yoopies.co.uk/c/press-releases/blacklivesmatter