The New Horizons mental health strategy, which was released on Monday has moved away from the idea of providing specialist services for ethnic minorities and this has thrown a major spanner in the works.
The figures emerged after a study was carried out by the social psychiatry unit of the institute of Psychiatry at the Maudsley hospital in south London. 500 patients from various ethic groups took part in the study and the results were compared with those of 350 healthy subjects.
Researchers ruled out genetic issues as the cause and concluded that there were a number of social factors which contributed such as people living alone, unemployment and divorce among other things. All of which have an effect on people who have a tendency towards schizoid personalities.
The Department of Health’s plan for delivering equality in mental health care in 2005 is currently falling short due to lack of recruits. It proposed the instalment of 500 new community workers to tackle social issues through 80 new community engagement projects. Julien Leff . the emeritus professor at the Institute of Psychiatry believes that a programme of social engineering, particularly to strengthen family structures is needed. This would help to keep children in stable family environments but is something that would have to be done by African Carribean leaders.
Paul Corry, director of public affairs for mental health charity Rethink, agrees that there “are some good ideas being followed up in a few areas by very good individuals”, but argues that on race equality in mental health services, the government has failed to provide “the joined-up national lead that we are all looking for”.