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Mental Health Act reform presents opportunity to address institutional racism within this system

25 July 2017

Mental_Health_Act_1983Prime Minister Theresa May's commitment to introduce the most sweeping reforms to mental health legislation in more than three decades presents the opportunity to end way the 1983 Mental Health Act has been used as a tool of state oppression against three generations of black people from the UK's African Caribbean communities and reform racist diagnostic tools which have been used to justify the debilitating levels of medication and punitive 'care' that black people in this system are routinely subject to.

 

Met Police Taser increase a human rights concerns for black Londoners

20 June 2017

Cressida_Dick_4_-_Met_CommissionerHuman rights campaigns group Black Mental Health UK (BMH UK) view today's announcement by Met Commissioner Cresssida Dick that more officers will be trained to use Taser as a retrograde step that has serious implications for the safety of innocent black people from the UK's African Caribbean communities, particularly those who are forced to use mental health services.

 

Minster for policing acknowledges BMH UK's work in announcement on new Taser

06 March 2017

Brandon_Lewis_MP_797_x_691The Minister of State for Fire and Police, Brandon Lewis MP acknowledged Black Mental Health UK in his statement to parliament on the work by the police to improve transparency on how they use force, however he also confirmed that the Home Secretary has authorised a new more powerful Taser. BMH UK are concerned that the introduction of this weapon will undermine community confidence in the police and lead to higher levels of force being used against the most vulnerable people from Britain's black communities.

 

Powerful next-gen Taser guns sparks fears over misuse against black Britain

14 December 2016

TASERHome Secretary Amber Rudd's decision to green light the next generation of Taser guns is a retrograde step, which may well prove to be a matter of life and death for black Britons. These well founded fears have been sparked in the wake of data showing that those known to have a mental health condition are four times more likely to die after police use force against them, and that black people of African descent are three times more likely to be subject to this firearm than their white counterparts.

 

Time to close down locked wards? Risks of suicide and absconding not reduced in locked wards

05 December 2016

Lancet_Psychaitry_info_graphic._526_x_272_jpgConfirming what has been known across Britain's black communities for many years now, that coercion and detention is nether therapeutic or aids recovery, a 15 year observational study published in the Lancet Psychiatry that has seen little mainstream media attention shows that there is very little or any evidence to show locked wards prevent people committing suicide or absconding, rather an open-door policy may foster a better therapeutic atmosphere and thus promote better health outcomes.

 

Edir Frederico Da Costa death reinforces Black Britain's fear of UK police as race soldiers

27 June 2017

Edir_Frederico_Da_Costa_aka_Edson_and_son_1Concerns raised by BMH UK at the United Nations in April that Britain's African Caribbean communities experience the police as race soldiers has been reinforced by the death of Edir Frederico Da Costa last Wednesday, after reports that he was 'brutally beaten' by officers during a routine traffic stop 'sustaining: a broken neck; broken collarbone; brain damage as a result of head injuries and loss of sight caused by CS spray'.
This latest in a long line of killings, sparked protest in North London this week, while human rights groups question the flawed and lengthy investigations surrounding such incidents, which fail to deliver justice for the bereaved and the community, but fuel costly legal bureaucratic processes that last for many years.

 

Mental health 'biomedical gatekeepers' perpetuate stigma & discrimination UN warns

16 June 2017

UN_SR__report_on_health_to_HRC__p_1_2017By Staff writer
With black people from the UK's African Caribbean communities continuing to be disproportionately subject to detention under the Mental Health Act and subject to highly coercive treatment when in this system, even thought there aren't higher rates of mental illness amongst this group, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health's new report calling for a move away from traditional thinking and the outdated practices that violate human rights has been welcomed across black Britain.

 

Diabetes, mental health and over-medication: don't overlook the link

08 February 2017

mental_health_butt4With the racial bias in diagnosis continuing to drive the disproportionately high incidence rate of labelling black people from the UK's African Caribbean communities with schizophrenia, community campaigners say that new data showing that people who are given this diagnosis are at an increased risk of developing diabetes have failed to factor this into their research. Human rights experts point to the need for this sector to acknowledge that the raft of physical illnesses and reduced life expectancy of up to 30 years of people detained in this system is due to environmental factors such as the over medication and punitive 'care' that black patients, more than any other group, are subject to.

 

Ban Taser firearms against detained mental health patients petition' launched - ban#taser

06 December 2016

BMH_UK__bantaser_Campaign_Change.org_Human rights campaigns group Black Mental Health UK (BMH UK) have launched a new Change.org petition as part of their drive to secure an outright ban on the illicit use of Taser firearms against patients detained in locked psychiatric wards. The unethical deployment of these stun guns in hospital settings will be among the issues discussed during report stage on the Policing and Crime Bill that will take place in the House of Lords this again this week.

 

Premier league footballer Dalian Atkinson, killed by police Taser, to be laid to rest this weekend

18 November 2016

Dalian_Atkinson_1The funeral of premier league footballer Dalian Atkinson will be held this Saturday 19th November. He died after police kicked and tasered him six times after responding to calls of a disturbance at his parents' home. The athlete had been battling kidney problems and was in deep emotional distress at the time. His death has reinforced fears across black Britain over how the most vulnerable and those who have mental health needs from this community are treated by the police.

 

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