Delivering the Equality Action Plan in Scotland
The College in Scotland is playing its role in delivering the Equality Action Plan.
Please note that If you are experiencing discrimination, we have a page signposting support.
The Plan, announced in January 2021, is a critical aspect of the College's wider strategy and is its authoritative response to addressing disparities in the experiences of our members and those we provide care to who face discrimination as a result of their race, sexual orientation or disability.
Of the 29 actions proposed, many of these directly relate to Scotland, and we have begun the process of delivering these key actions and enabling our members to build the networks needed to identify and challenge harmful practices in their workplaces.
We want all our 1,400 members to play their part in the delivery of this plan and in making our mental healthcare system much more conscious and willing to address all forms of inequality.
At this initial stage, there are three key leadership groups we believe can disseminate the plan, its principles, and its actions:
- Faculty chairs and vice-chairs
- race equality leads in health boards
- medical managers
- highlight in your workplaces the need to evaluate and address inequalities in accessing and providing mental healthcare
- foster a culture of assessing decisions by their impact on groups with protected characteristics
- promote our equalities groups and seek to positively support their work in relation to your specialty/health board
- support and be empathetic to individual colleagues and patients, understanding how their experiences facing inequalities and discrimination have impacted them.
- creating a new duty for our Faculty Vice Chairs to: “Act as the equalities representative for the Faculty. This includes being a point of contact for faculty members on equalities issues, and reporting to Devolved Council annually on efforts to support faculty members on these issues.”
- supporting our equalities groups, including our Ethnically Diverse Communities Reference Group, to engage and seek positive change
- supporting the development of networks to discuss and tackle these issues, including a Scottish Transcultural Forum Conference.
- engaging the Scottish Government and other key stakeholders on the need to equality-proof mental health policy.
Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland
The Commission is working on a Ethnically Diverse Communities Project exploring the experience of people from diverse ethnic communities who have mental illness; the training offered to staff to meet their needs and the workforce diversity (and particularly the extent to which it meets and reflects the population served) by health board; and the extent to which the Commission meets the needs of all communities.
The recently formed Equalities & Human Rights Forum is driving much of this work. The vision of the Forum is to look at the causes of mental health inequality at a structural and individual level and to address these inequalities by informing inclusive and fair policy and practice that meets the needs of those most affected by mental health inequality.
It aims to do this by ensuring the Forum is a mechanism for the views of equality and human rights organisations and those with lived experience to be at the heart of our policy and practice for mental health. These views and perspectives will be central to the delivery of the Transition and Recovery Plan for Mental Health, and will advise and guide the Scottish Government on the development and implementation of mental health policy.