One in four people from BAME communities struggle with their mental health

One in four people from BAME communities who struggle with their mental health keep it to themselves because they don’t know anyone that would understand.

Of the people we surveyed from BAME communities who said they struggled with their mental health:
• 1 in 4 (24%) keep it to themselves because they don’t know anyone that would understand
• 1 in 2 (50%) don’t speak about it because they wouldn’t want to burden someone with their problems
• In comparison, 84% said that they feel good about themselves when they are there for people they care about
Research out today from the mental health charity Mind¹ has found that one in four Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) people who have struggled with their mental health keep it to themselves because they don’t know anyone that would understand (24%).

One such example of peer support in action is Halo’s Big Sisters Project. Halo works with and supports victims of honour based violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation, who have suffered psychological and emotional abuse, which has left a profound effect on their mental health and physical well-being. ‘The Big Sisters Project’ run regular coffee mornings which are extremely therapeutic for the women. The sessions provide a comfortable and safe environment to talk to others that understand and share their experiences. The support from peers has given the women the confidence and opened opportunities to access other groups and activities in the area which have helped them feel part of the community.

Yasmin Khan, Director of Halo, commented, “The Big Sisters Project has demonstrated effective community engagement in a trusted community project, which has broken down barriers and achieved a greater understanding of MIND services which are available. This demonstrates the value of specialist providers reaching out to minority groups, especially to those who are extremely vulnerable, such as victims of cultural, harmful practices”.

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