GPs, talking therapy services and secondary mental health services are there to help. We explain more about mental health services that can help you in the following section.

It’s important to note, people from BAME backgrounds can have different experiences of the mental health system compared to white people. Some BAME groups are less satisfied with their experiences of the NHS, GP and hospital services compared to the rest of the population.

People from BAME backgrounds have told us that some of the barriers they face when accessing mental health care are:

  • cultural barriers where mental health issues aren’t recognised or aren’t seen as important,
  • language barriers,
  • professionals having a lack of knowledge about things that are important to someone from a BAME background, or their experiences,
  • white healthcare professionals not being able to fully understand what racism or discrimination is like,
  • lack of publicity of mental health support and services in some BAME communities,
  • stereotyping. For example, some white people think that Black people with mental health issues will get angry or aggressive. They may consciously think this, or through unconscious biases, and
  • stigma about mental illness in some communities stops some people from BAME backgrounds seeking help. This may because they feel ashamed.