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Black people in the UK are more likely to be admitted to hospital for mental illness – they are also less likely to use mainstream services.

Can connecting black therapists with black patients change that?

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Help nurture Black and Asian psychological therapists through their training:

I took part in a short video for Channel 4’s Facebook news page, identity section. There were a few of us talking about the benefits there might be in black people seeing black therapists and counsellors.

Seemed a straightforward deal to me but reading the posts in response to the video it sounded like there were lots of people feeling uncomfortable about this race conversation.

Guess which of these post is not from a white person?

a) I’m so confused.. is this racist!?

b) I would be very offended as a health professional if someone declined to be seen by me because of the colour of my skin. Equally it’s not something I would think of when seeing a professional. I’m more interested in your knowledge skills and experience that can help me. Just saying

c) It’s about making a connection with another person, and sincerity and all the other qualities that make us decent human beings, it’s not about the colour of a person’s skin, or their ethnic background, or any of those things, which have no bearing on someone’s ability to do their job well !

d) As a Hairstylist whose had many therapists and Counsellors sit in my chair over a 20 year span, I totally agree with this message.. The job doesn’t make the person more understanding or empathetic to another person’s culture.. I can’t tell you how many therapist are on prescription meds themselves and are very biased.. It’s been such an agenda for so long in so many other environments to continue the degradation, media messaging, everything that I agree to have someone Ethnic.. It’s safe.. It’s sad to think this way however, I’ve heard some ish over the years.. The very fact that we have police brutality and a racist dude who got nominated to run for president should be proof enough to choose who you intimately share the details of your life with..

If you guessed d) you had the right answer. It sounded like some of these posts were from therapists too. Very worrying!

This reminds me of what Robin D’Angelo, a white racial justice educator in the states, calls ‘entitlement to race comfort’. In the dominant position, whites are almost always racially comfortable and have developed unchallenged expectations to remain so. When racial discomfort arises, white people typically respond as if something is “wrong” and blame the person or event that triggered the discomfort (usually a person of colour but not always). This blame results in a socially-sanctioned array of responses towards the perceived source of the discomfort, in this instance denial…

Find out more from Dr D’Angelo. Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism

Help nurture Black and Asian psychological therapists through their training:

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