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Boost for BAME mental health

NEW CHAIR: Marcia Willis Stewart QC (Hon)

THE UNIVERSITY of Manchester – along with Queen Mary University of London and Words of Colour Productions – has been commissioned to establish an independent centre of excellence on ethnic inequalities, severe mental illness and multiple disadvantage.

With an award of £1,245,000 from Lankelly Chase Foundation, the Synergi Collaborative Centre will deliver a five-year national programme focused on transforming health services for ethnic minority people with severe mental illness.

Over the five years, the centre will:

● Collate, interpret and communicate data and knowledge on ethnic inequalities in mental health and related systems, and how this relates to severe and multiple disadvantage
● Bring together the full range of stakeholders through models of co-production, and co-curation of knowledge, to develop and implement solutions
● Place lived experience narratives centre stage
● Use creative, digital and evidence-based platforms to share these narratives
● Become a focal point for action, leading to systems change regarding ethnic inequalities in mental health services
● Identify opportunities to reduce and prevent ethnic inequalities to improve the health of individuals and populations
The centre will take a collaborative approach, using the principles of co-production of knowledge and a creative mix of robust research methods.

Marcia Willis Stewart QC (Hon), the newly appointed Chair of the centre’s Advisory Board, added: “It is an honour and a privilege to assist the Synergi Collaborative Centre with its relevant goals regarding ethnic inequalities, severe mental illness and multiple disadvantage.

“The timing of this project is particularly important as there is long-standing concern over key issues such as access to relevant services, social exclusion and social cohesion nationally. The work that the centre plans to under- take is also necessary amid the ground- swell of public and political interest, and an acknowledgement of the complex cluster of historical issues surrounding severe mental illness and ethnic inequalities, which is why the funding by Lankelly Chase is welcomed.”

Cathy Stancer, director of Equalities and Rights at Lankelly Chase, added: “Lankelly Chase’s area of concern is why people dealing with the most severe problems get the least effective support, often resulting in catastrophic outcomes.

“Through the many projects we have supported, we know that ethnic inequality in mental health remains an intractable issue.”

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