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All in the mind

Ethnic minorities suffer high rates of mental illness—because of their background as migrants, not racism

By Swaran Singh   October 2010

Swaran Singh: the social environment of immigrants explains their high rates of psychosis

Race is everywhere in British psychiatry. Responding to charges of institutional racism, politicians promise to make services more culturally sensitive. Black mental health groups argue for ethnically matched clinicians and special services for minorities. Yet, despite millions spent on equality initiatives, the number of black patients on psychiatric wards remains stubbornly high. Afro-Caribbeans are 44 per cent more likely than whites to be sectioned, 29 per cent more likely to be forcibly restrained, 50 per cent more likely to be placed in seclusion, and make up 30…

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