The senseless killing of George Floyd and the reaction to it has been a wakeup call for all of us, not least for Solent Mind as a mental health charity.
It has made us realise that for all our good intentions and action plans, we don’t yet serve our BAME communities as well as we should and could.
We have always been clear that Black People and People of Colour are welcome in our services. However, we now realise this is not enough. It is important that Solent Mind goes further and is anti-racist. This stance is important to us.
We are learning that choosing to not have frank discussions about privilege out of fear of ‘getting it wrong’ is inexcusable. We plan to engage in self-reflection and make equitable changes.
We want everyone experiencing a mental health issue to get support and respect, but we know that BAME communities face greater barriers when seeking the help that they deserve. We want to listen, learn and collaborate with these communities; from our service users, to our partners with greater expertise than us, so we can turn our intentions into real improvement.