As an IAPT Service, we are committed to providing mental health support to any individual that may be in need of our support, where treatment within a Primary Care setting is appropriate. This includes trying to improve access for BAME communities and encourage a more diverse workforce.
Below is a statement from the BMA and BABCP outlining the anti-racism stance of two professional bodies that our service is connected to.
‘We stand in solidarity’ – BMA statement on Black Lives Matter
By The BMA (sourced from: https://www.bma.org.uk/news-and-opinion/we-stand-in-solidarity-bma-statement-on-black-lives-matter)
The NHS was founded on the principles of fairness and that all patients regardless of their background should be cared for equally. Yet these principles are not a reality for many who work in our health service and the patients we care for.
The brutal death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in America has shown inequality, racism and discrimination still scar black peoples’ lives across the world. For the black community it is a painful reminder of the parallels in the systemic racism here in the UK.
Black lives should matter to every individual and every medical professional. Racism and discrimination breeds health inequalities impacting on our patients, it adversely affects our colleagues and at its worst it kills, with black women five times more likely to die during childbirth than white women in the UK.
These health inequalities are all too visible in the toll COVID-19 is having on black, asian and minority ethnic communities in the UK. More than 90 per cent of doctors who have died from the virus to date are from a BAME background. Unless the government engages in actions not just words, then the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to disproportionately impact on BAME healthcare workers and the communities they serve.
We stand in solidarity with black healthcare workers and the black communities in the UK, America and around the world and renew our commitment to bringing about the change needed to eradicate racism and discrimination.
But this commitment is nothing unless we all take action to address the enduring injustices faced by black people and BAME healthcare workers here in the UK.
The structural underrepresentation of BAME people in NHS healthcare leadership must end and our Equality Matters advocacy programme launched last year to promote equality for all doctors lays the foundation on which employers must work with us to end bullying, harassment and discrimination in the NHS.
The medical schools which nurture the doctors of tomorrow can and must take a proactive stand to rid their campuses of discrimination and implement our Charter to prevent the racial harassment that squashes the medical careers of young black medics.
Building on the work we’ve taken forward with our Charter, we will be engaging further with black medical organisations to support their work on inclusive learning and the mentoring of black medical students. We will be exploring further joint action in the coming weeks.
And we recognise too that we as an employer need to lead by example to do more to address under-representation at a staff level and to address the concerns of black members of staff.
However, these actions on their own will not eradicate the racial injustices black people face every day. That requires societal change and the iron will of us all to work together to make our nation and our health service a fairer and more compassionate place so that black lives do truly matter.”
What can you do to support #BlackLivesMatter?
Sign petitions and donate
Every signature represents another voice saying the situation cannot be ignored. You can also support those who tragically lose loved ones to pay for funeral costs and donate to charities and organisations actively fighting against racial injustice. Find out more about how you can support #BlackLivesMatter.
Support your black colleagues
For your colleagues it can be difficult. This is an emotional and traumatic experience, and you should be mindful of the toll this may be taking on your black colleagues, so ask how you can provide material support.
To understand is the beginning, to act is the result.
“Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And that’s the only way forward.” – Ijeoma Oluo
Speak to people and recognise what you don’t understand and be willing to learn.
BABCP Anti-Racism Statement
The British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) is the lead organisation for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in the UK and Ireland.
We are releasing this statement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, which has highlighted the ongoing and systemic nature of racism in the United States and the rest of the world including the UK and Europe. We wish to be clear that the BABCP is an Anti-Racist organisation and stands against all forms of discrimination and discriminatory practice. We are committed to challenging and eradicating racism. We recognise that as well as being abhorrent, racism in itself has a marked and significant negative impact on the mental health of Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities that our members are part of and that members serve as therapists. We recognise that racism can be both overt, as in the case of the murder of George Floyd and other people of colour, and covert in the form of oppression, aggression and systemic bias. We recognise that systemic racism has contributed to there being fewer Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic therapists, and to therapy being less accessible to BAME communities. We are committed to trying to improve this.
Some of the actions which BABCP have been taking to try to improve the status quo include the work of the Equality & Culture SIG, resources for members including the special issue of our journal highlighting work with BAME communities, the BAME Positive Practice Guide, outreach event and related podcast, and a recent external consultation on our own organisational equality & diversity practices which we are committed to acting upon.
We encourage all members of the BABCP who have been affected by the events of this week to please seek support from your employing organisation, from colleagues and professional networks, and from structures such as clinical supervision. This is especially important if you are working with clients who as part of therapy share their grief, sadness and fear as a result of George Floyd’s death or have lost loved ones as a result of institutional racism.
We encourage our BAME members to seek support at what is likely to be a difficult time in terms of the racism you may be or may have been exposed to in your own lives and workplaces. It is important that you are supported for the sake of your own well-being and mental health as well as to be able to support clients in therapy, in the eventuality that they disclose their own experiences of systemic racism or discrimination. We encourage our white members to seek out opportunities to become allies of anti-racism practice and for learning and reflection on how you can improve the way that you support BAME colleagues and clients. It is vital to ensure that the impact of racism in BAME individuals’ daily lives and globally is mitigated by the supportive responses and understanding of white colleagues. There are several resources including the BAME Positive Practice Guide available on the BABCP website, Journals and CBT Today articles and Twitter account which may be a helpful beginning.
Recently members and service users from BAME communities will also have been disproportionally affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic and we are aware of the cumulative impact of these experiences on the emotional and physical health of communities and individuals. We recognise that inequality is killing people.
We call for an end to inequalities in mental healthcare provision. This can only occur when we end social inequalities and move to a society where racism is a thing of the past. We are committed as an organisation to doing all we can to work towards this.
We are receptive to hearing from anyone about ideas for how we can improve our practices and support. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.