RCPsych responds to PM’s announcement of a new commission on racial inequality

Statement / comment
17 June 2020

Today, the College responded to the Prime Minister’s announcement of a new cross-government team to look into racial inequality with a letter published in the Times. 

"The Prime Minister is right when he says he needs to tackle inequality − it’s why mental health must be at the heart of the inequality commission. Racism impacts on mental health. Mental illness is far more likely to affect those living with the burden of other inequalities. Those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities are more likely to live in poverty, have worse education outcomes, face unemployment and be in the criminal justice system. As a result, they are at higher risk of developing mental health problems."
"Black adults in the UK have some of the highest rates of severe mental illness but are least likely to receive help. Mental health services have long been the poor relation in the NHS – the current funding is far from enough to help everyone in need of support."

"It’s unacceptable that those already marginalised in our society suffer a double injustice once they develop mental illness. The commission must work to end this, now."

Professor Wendy Burn, President, Royal College of Psychiatrists

Dr Adrian James, President-elect, Royal College of Psychiatrists