• Elfreda

Hidden loneliness. A cause of mental health In the BAME communities

Isolation cause by poverty, racism and language barriers could lead to depression, and given the severity of the depression lead to mental health.

People from the BAME communities are more likely to be diagnosed with mental health problems. We are also more likely to disengage from the main stream mental health services which can lead to social exclusion. People from the BAME communities have fewer opportunities to discuss issues ranging from stress to depression. We are often told to pray away mental health in the BAME communities. If you want to see a therapist, many in the BAME communities will think you are crazy, and will often say, to you, why don't you pray and trust God? If you suffer from a severe mental health conditions, it is assume that God is punishing you for your wrongdoings. Many cultures and traditions finds it difficult to believe in mental health conditions and this leaves suffers without the right support within the community. Religion is the easiest way to sort things out. If a woman from a BAME background is diagnosed with postnatal depression after birth, the biggest issue is that there is no physical symptoms. It is rather easier to class it as black magic or simply seeking attention. The reality is that people are scare of accepting that someone is depressed, because then they will have to address the cause of the condition. In extreme cases, in some BAME culture, it is still common practice for people to seek healing through exorcisms, due to the assumption that demon possessions and witchcraft is solely responsible for the condition. This is harming people in our BAME communities.

We should all be striving for a society where there is no stigma attached to the mental health illness. It is not surprising why we look for solutions solely within our communities. This is because it is more likely BAME communities experience negative outcomes from the mainstream, mental health services. We need to create a mental health services that are more culturally acceptable and accessible to those from non-white communities. Only then can we help those who feel isolated and unable to access help.

Saatchi Art

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