Equality and diversity in mental health social work

This area covers information for mental health social work leaders who want to support equality and diversity in their social work workforce, and ensure that the needs of service users from diverse communities is being considered in mental health social work. It shares links to useful guidance, programmes and resources to help.

We support people from diverse communities working in social work and especially for them take on positions of responsibility and leadership in social care, the NHS and other sectors. We also want to support the Mental Health Act Review ambition to introduce a ‘Patient and Carer Race Equality Framework’ for mental health services and to develop the training and support for Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs) and mental health social workers.

We're still developing some resources for this webpage, which will be updated shortly. 

This programme is aimed at individuals from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background who are wanting to take the next step in their learning and development. It has been designed to bridge the gap between where you currently are, and where you need to be, to progress in your career and will provide you with the tools and techniques to empower you to make changes and get you where you want to be.

The Mental Health Act Review made a number of recommendations about how NHS organisations, local authorities and other employers should support a better understanding of the needs of people from a BAME background who come into contact with mental health services. This document highlights the main themes from the review and is relevant for mental health social workers and AMHPs.

This guide is kindly provided by Dr Gurnam Singh, Associate Professor of Equity of Attainment, Coventry University. It details the impact of COVID-19 on BAME students and will be of value to social work students, practice educators and social work tutors.

  • The history and development of anti-racist practice

This presentation by Claudia Bernard, Professor of Social Work, Goldsmiths University of London, details anti-racist approaches to social work and was presented at the Social Work History Network in October 2019.

The accompanying journal article [Black History Month: A Provocation and a Timeline, C Williams & C Bernard (2018), Critical and Radical Social Work, 6 (3), 391-406)

Our colleague Hári Sewell has very kindly allowed us to put his recent publication ‘Working in Mental Health with people from Black and Asian Minority Groups’ up on this website. This is an excellent summary of the issues around equality, diversity and discrimination in mental health services.