6 Black British mental health charities to support right now
These organisations offer services that are more vital than ever, and need your help to do so.
Photography Tom Ivin
In the United Kingdom, studies show that Black people are over four times more likely to be detained, or 'sectioned', under the Mental Health Act than white people. Community Treatment Orders -- outpatient programmes that can nevertheless involve compulsory recall to hospital -- are over eight times more common among the Black population. Black British people are statistically more likely to come into contact with mental health services through the criminal justice system than via a GP referral, which points to both a vast number of unreported cases and a huge gap between how white and Black Britons experience a health system that is supposed to care for us all equally.
The Race Equality Foundation found that Black British people are statistically more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia, but are less likely to be diagnosed with other mental health conditions, particularly in the case of Black men. They also found that Black British people are more likely to be restrained or risk death in detention. In a study conducted by Manchester’s Centre for Suicide Prevention, lead author Dr Jayne Cooper pointed out that “Despite the increased risk of self-harm in young Black females… fewer receive psychiatric care.”
All of these statistics highlight a violent inequality at the heart of Britain's mental health service and, with global coverage of police violence flooding news sites and social media, the work of charities specialising in the mental health of Black people is vital. Here are six organisations, seeking money or other forms of support, that you can aid today.
Black Minds Matter UK
Launched in tandem with the current protests in the UK and abroad, Black Minds Matter is a network of Black therapists who can apply their own lived experience and understanding to helping other Black people seeking help. Considering therapy on the NHS is severely underfunded, the money raised will go towards therapy sessions for those who can’t afford to access it privately. Donate here.
Black LGBTQIA+ Therapy Fund
Initially launched with the intention of raising £1000 for courses of therapy for two Black members of the LGBTQIA+ community, this fundraiser is now expanding into something bigger, in the hopes of providing a pool of money to one of the most overlooked and persecuted communities in Britain. “At present, we are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic,” organiser of the fund Rose Frimpong says. “Black people are fighting for the right to live and Black LGBTQIA+ people are having to explain that we exist and that the two co-exist as part of our identities.” Donate here.
Black Girls Camping Trip
This organisation offers tailored wellbeing retreats to combat some of the extreme mental toil of surviving as a Black woman in the UK. Donations will go towards the women running trips, the camping supplies and the travel funds for those joining from further afield than London. Donatehere and follow their Twitter here.
Black Learning Achievement and Mental Health’s work is primarily focused on educating British school children about Black history, while also providing Black children with safe spaces to discuss their feelings and mental health. Based in Brixton and supported by Diane Abbott, the money raised will help Black parents and their children access vital information for free. Donate here.
Celutions was founded by a young mental health advocate named Celine -- hence the name. It's a Black-owned social enterprise that looks to find solutions to mental health problems through events, workshops and panel discussions, as well as online guidance. There's currently a Paypal open for donations, which will be used to continue to address the issues that prohibit adequate support. Donate here and find a thread of useful tips via their Twitter account here.
Lambeth-based organisation Black Thrive are currently fundraising, but if you haven’t got the money to donate to a charity right now, they also rely on volunteers to join their working groups. For half a day a month, those with experience in social care or expert/academic knowledge of subjects such as mental health, dementia and issues that disproportionately affect Black British people can give their time to help support the Black community in and around Lambeth. To help out, click here.