Introduction police are black, and on the ward out

Introduction

I have chosen to talk about
mental health within the black community, and the chosen sub group for this
topic is focused on black men. The problems that black men with mental health
illness experience is racism. Black men with mental health experience
institutional racism, according to jessicakingsley (2009) institutional racism
entails of when people of colour are failed by organisations to offer suitable
and professional services. Black men with mental health illness, face problems
such as being mistreated by the services, the likes of the police. Statistics
show in the UK black men are 17 times more likely to be diagnosed with
schizophrenia or bipolar than the white men is likely to be diagnosed.
(bbc.co.uk 2016) Research has shown that within the year of 2014 about 50,408
people were sectioned, thus the highest number to be ever recorded according to
the Care Quality Commission research, and they also discovered that more black
people are the ones being detained under the mental health Act. Police officers
or the judge are the ones who are more likely to send them to be sectioned
instead of being referred by their doctor. A report by (opendemocracy.net2014)
says that a hospital in London on the psychiatric ward has reported that most
of the patients have been brought in by the police are black, and on the ward
out of 15 patients 12 of them were black and were diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Black men who suffer from mental health illness are stereotyped and are seen
are dangerous. Opendemocracy.net (2014) has identified that a black men who had
been diagnosed with schizophrenia died from a heart attack at police station
after being restrained by police officers in 2008. The black community has
always been stigmatised and have been labelled as dangerous.
(opendemocracy.net2016)

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Why
the chosen sub-group is considered to be vulnerable

 

Dictionary.cambridge.org (2018)
says that vulnerability means “to be easily physically, emotionally, or
mentally hurt, influenced or attacked.” WHO.int (2012) states that
vulnerability to mental disorders, depending on the local context, certain
groups within society may be vulnerable to facing mental health problems, such
as households living in poor conditions, people with serious health conditions,
minority groups, and people who have been exposed to war or have been through
great conflict. It also say that vulnerability for people with mental disorders
have risks, such as having a high likelihood of facing disability and early
mortality, stigma and discrimination, social exclusion and impoverishment.
Black men with mental health are vulnerable, as the illness is unnoticed as
they are usually seen as aggressive or dangerous to the community. Most of the
time a black men are diagnosed with mental health after being restrained or
having committed a crime. Thus makes them vulnerable because they are not
getting the right help that they require, instead they are being mistreated and
neglected. Within the UK in 1990 there has been over 1500 deaths in custody,
several of them suffer from mental health, and the majority of those who have
died in custody were from the black community (independent.co.uk 2017). A
report done by independent.co.uk (2017) says that in the year of 2010 in
September at Bethlem Royal hospital in East London. A black man aged 23, who
was suffering from acute mental health illness, died from heart failure, when
he was restrained by 6 police officers, for more than 30 minutes using,
excessive force. Yet again this man had acute mental health and was brutally
mistreated. Nhs.co.uk(2018) says that black communities in the UK, are the ones
who are more likely to have problems such as bad housing, poverty, stress and
racism, which can be the cause of why people get ill.

Within mental health, black
men tend to suffer more than the white men would, this is due to stigma. Stigma
plays a big role as to why black men with mental health illness become
vulnerable, particularly because of the colour of their skin, and the way the
media and the justice system tends to portray them. The justice system and
services in general seem to be failing those under the mental capacity act,
especially black men, they tend to be abused, mistreated, in some cases they
die in custody. (thegurdian.com2017)  According
to Caroline Carlisle et al (2001) the criminal justice failings has resulted to
abuse and death in custody. Black men are more likely to be stopped searched
more than the white men would, and are also likely to be sentenced at Crown Court
or get a psychiatric discarding, thus black people are criminalised and
psychiatrised to a bigger step than white people and consequently inexplicably
presented in hospital and prison. Frank Tannenbaums( 1938) states that
labelling theorists set out to establish that people become criminals due to
what people with power, particularly those in the criminal justice system do.
All this makes the black men vulnerable as they are being failed and neglected
by the system and services, which as a result can lead to suicide or more of
black men acting as a cry of help.

Psychologytoday.com(2017) says
that blame the black man syndrome is when someone falsely accuses a black man
of a crime of misconduct. This report goes on to say that, some research have
showed the psychological effects for men who were falsely accused. They reveal
lives that have been ruined, social alienation and high levels of mental
illness the likes of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Some cases have shown that the psychological damage is parallel to torture
survivors. Another effect that the black men faces is the circle of fear, this
stops black men from interacting with the services, as staff see them as
dangerous and them as service users find the services as harmful. Black men
become vulnerable is they see the services as inhuman, unhelpful and
inappropriate, not getting the right kind of help can make their mental health
escalate even more, this is self-neglect mixed with fear. Poverty can have an
effect on them because in some cases the services are not within their reach or
it requires them having to pay and in some cases they can’t afford to pay for
such. (ahpn.org.uk2013)

The effects that the black
community face, is racial hoaxes as they are a reminder that people still
stereotype black men. Likewise the systematic failures of justice highlight the
ongoing reality of methodical racial biases in policing. This all contributes
to anxiety and fear, the mistrust of societal institution within the black
community. Service users who are from the black community say they are not
treated with respect, and their voices are not heard. (psychologytoday.com
2017)

 

 

Demonstrate an ability to apply key
sociological theory to understand the vulnerable group

Sociology has
helped me understand the vulnerability of black men with mental health, as it
talks about social class, labelling theory, stigma and institutional racism. It
makes me realise that the black community is a minority, especially the men.
They are labelled and portrayed as dangerous therefore they are deprived from
the care and services that they require. Having said that l realised that
mental health within the black community is not recognised. It highlights a lot
on how the criminal justice also plays a huge part of as to why some black men
suffer from mental health as they are abused by the police and mistreated. Social
exclusion plays a big role within the black community, this makes them
vulnerable especially when dealing with mental health illness, and it can have
an impact on the financial resources, low self-esteem and loss of social
contacts. Poverty also plays a part on, not having enough funds to look after
themselves let alone being able to afford medical care regarding mental health.
Social exclusion can put at them at risk of developing more health issues, such
as stress, trying to manage things on a low incomes, living conditions may be
poor, the area they live in, and being discriminated against. Thus making them
vulnerable as they may not be able to fund themselves to reach the services or
getting the right treatment they require. (poverty.ac.uk 2010) Alienation black
people who suffer from mental health may experience alienation, it is
sociological and psychological. Thus makes them more vulnerable as they may
feel that due to their race they may be deprived from the right care they need
and may failed by the system as they are seen as a minority, this could
potentially make their health deteriorate 
more.(healthline.com 2015)

Theorist Marx blamed
capitalism for creating alienation, the experience of isolation equalling from
powerlessness. (John J et al 2012) As the black community is seen as a
minority, those with mental health face alienation, and result in being
deprived from the services and care they require. Thus making them vulnerable to
seek for help and be treated. Black communities are vulnerable within society
as they are painted as harmful and a threat to society, in some satiation the
black community suffer from poverty, and can’t get jobs due to race due to how
society portrays them. Durkheim says “society is only beyond ourselves, it is
also in ourselves.” (John J et al 2012)

Under the
Equality Act 2010, there are 9 protected characteristic and one of them being
race. According to legislation.gov.uk (2010) states that “a racial group is a
group of persons defined by reference to race”. This should entitle the black
community to have access to services without having fear of rejection or being
discriminated against because of their race. This act can help people within
the black community matter as they are protected by the act, therefore it
should in some way eliminate discrimination but having said that, not everyone
will be aware of this act. It also entitles that people within the black
community with mental health should be treated with respect and dignity. Under
The Human Rights Act it says that no discrimination, “you should not be treated
unfairly because of race, gender, disability and sexuality”. Discrimination is
a big thing that black people face, as l previously stated about how black
people face institutional racism, social exclusion and alienation. This law
should enable them to be treated fairly regardless of race. (Liberty-human-rights.org.uk
1934) This act should enable black people with mental health to be treated
equally and they should be entitled to access resources and services easily.

 

Understanding of sociological
perspectives can aid better social work practice for the chosen vulnerable
group.

 

Social workers can use theories such as the likes of social
exclusion and institutional racism to help them understand what black men with
mental health are going through. Social exclusion and difficulty unreasonably
affect those with mental health problems within the black community. Race plays
a big disadvantage for the black community, more of the black community service
users can be identified in preventive and controlling areas of the mental
health system, in captivity below civil or forensic areas of the Mental Health
Act, and are unlikely to get preventive and early treatment. For social workers
being able to challenge discrimination and institutionalise racism is an
important thing for social workers. Social work is a fixed in a rights-based
outlook on desires and in supporting people to understand and how to use their
rights. As social workers understanding that there is a high self-determination
and control, fixed in citizenship rights, is usually base point to recover for
the people who have felt negative, defined and not empowered by their mental
health and have been failed by the system, such as the black men who are
constantly labelled, facing racism.(gov.uk 2016)

Social work is important when it comes to providing and
sustaining good mental health services. A good social worker can change the
lives of people with mental health conditions and is a vital role of the
multidisciplinary and multiagency working. 
Social workers play an important role in finding accessible services for
people with mental health, this will aid in improving the mental health and
possibly lower the risk of any issues and be costly affective.