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Question ref. S6W-02975
Asked by: Pam Gosal, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 14 September 2021


To ask the Scottish Government what research it has undertaken regarding any barriers preventing BAME people from (a) accessing mental health services and (b) understanding and communicating their own mental health.

Current status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 24 September 2021


In our Mental Health Transition and Recovery Plan we committed to considering and addressing the causes of mental health inequality at a structural and individual level, particularly the impacts of the pandemic on the mental health of minority ethnic groups. We have established a Mental Health Equality and Human Rights Stakeholder Forum, with representation from organisations representing Race equality, to provide advice on the implementation of the Plan and wider equalities work within mental health policy. The Forum first met in February and we continue to consult with the group as we implement the Plan.

We recognise that there is a need to improve data collection to help us understand any barriers faced by people from minority ethnic communities accessing mental health support, as has been recommended by the Expert Reference Group on Covid and Ethnicity and the Mental Welfare Commission in its recent publication on Racial Inequality and Mental Health in Scotland.

As part of the Scottish Government’s Equality Data Improvement Programme, government analysts are assessing evidence, including on ethnicity/race, across the health and social care portfolio and are committed to developing an action plan to improve equality data. Scoping of requirements for initial research on mental health and ethnicity will take place over the coming months.