My role


Facing up to the mental health taboo for black and minority ethnic men

As part of its developing expertise in men's mental health, the MHF's project looking at the mental health of BME men provides a fascinating insight to the ways in which gender, race and culture can interplay and affect mental health.

The Improving the Mental Health of BME men project was funded by the Department of Health, the National Mental Health Development Unit (MDHU) and the Football Foundation, and aimed to provide a better understanding of Black and Minority Ethnic men’s beliefs, attitudes and behaviours in respect of mental health and their experiences of mental health services.

Men in general are often unable to identify themselves as having a mental health problem, have a low level of awareness of available services and are often reluctant to seek help for mental health problems and can find many services unsuitable or unappealing. This range of concerns is greater among the diverse range of BME men, many of whom may feel, for example, that mental health services will discriminate against them, and that there is a particular stigma attached to developing a mental health problem. In response to these issues the project consisted of a literature review of current evidence on mental health and services for BME men, and primary research involving focus groups consisting of younger and older men from six different BME groups. The findings will inform the awareness among healthcare professionals about how to engage effectively with BME men, and inform the future development of resources for BME men.

Stephen Sibbald, the MHF's director of operations, said 'This has been a fascinating project which has generated a wealth of rich primary data from the focus groups with the men themselves.  We aim to report on this project later in the year probably linking it in with another piece of work commissioned by NMDHU which is looking at men's mental health more broadly and the development of operational guidance for practitioners'.

Further details of the MHF's work on men's mental health may be found here.

Page created on April 1st, 2010

Page updated on April 1st, 2010