A recent article published in the online newspaper The Voice, describes the lack of access to mental health service in the UK among Black women, despite research showing that depression and self-harming behaviors are on the rise among these women. One often stated reason underlying inadequate access in this group of people may be the long held stereotype of “black women being strong” and able to cope on their own. The author of the article, Alannah Francis, reports that some solutions to this conundrum may be developing within their own social communities.
One such initiative is the Black, African and Asian Therapy Network (BAATN), an independent organization providing culturally empathic psychological services to those identified communities of people.
BAATN addresses the issue of inequality by staging awareness events, engaging with mental health professionals to develop a ‘black empathic approach’ in general therapy practice and and encouraging people of African, Asian or Caribbean heritage to enter the therapy profession. BAATN also provides resources to people who are dealing with mental health conditions, for example, by providing a searchable list of culturally attuned therapists.