Admission, Detention Rates Remain High For Black, Minority Groups Using Mental Health

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A multi-agency response is required to address the needs of service users. The findings from a census of the ethnicity of inpatients in mental health and learning disability services are published.

The figures continue to show that some black and minority ethnic groups are three or more times more likely than average to be admitted as inpatients in mental health and learning disability services.

The report notes that research has shown some ethnic groups have significantly higher rates of mental illness. Differences in rates of mental illness and pathways to hospital admission are caused by numerous and complex factors such as socio-economic factors, living alone and family and social support.

The census report stresses that agencies must work together to prevent and better manage mental illness in black and minority ethnic groups. This will require a multi-agency response not just from service providers, but also from other agencies such as GPs, local authorities and the criminal justice system.

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The census also shows that 68% of mental health inpatients are in mixed-sex wards, presenting issues of privacy, dignity and safety for people with a mental illness.

The Count Me In Census 2007 was a joint initiative by the Healthcare Commission, the Mental Health Act Commission (MHAC) and the National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIHME). It is one of the three key building blocks of the government's five-year action plan, "Delivering Race Equality in Mental Health Care".

The census aimed to provide accurate figures on the numbers of inpatients in mental health and learning disability services in England and Wales on one day and to encourage service providers to collect and monitor data on all ethnic groups of patients.

The census was conducted on March 30 this year. It collected information on:

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