Updated: Apr 15, 2022
SHIFTING THE DIAL ON MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT FOR YOUNG BLACK MEN
A programme addressing mental health needs in young black men highlights key learning for system leaders and commissioners of mental health services.
NHS Confederation, April 6, 2022
We know that young black men are much more exposed to many of the known risk factors for poor mental health, such as poverty, poor housing, living in unsafe neighbourhoods, and poor access to education and employment opportunities. Their mental health is also threatened by daily experiences of racism and discrimination as well as by the harmful and pervasive stereotypes of black men in the media. This further entrenches the stigma associated with mental health and deters young black men from seeking support. They subsequently fall under the radar of mental health services, often until they reach crisis point. Centre for Mental Health recently published a report that shares learning from a three-year programme to engage young black men based in Birmingham around their mental health. The Shifting the Dial programme was established as a response to the growing and unmet needs of young black men aged 16 to 25. It aimed to shift the dial on their experiences by developing tailored projects that seek to promote and boost their wellbeing while also combatting mental health stigma. Overall, young men involved in Shifting the Dial reported good outcomes related to their wellbeing, confidence, sense of belonging and understanding of mental health.