SCIE Research Briefing 29: Black and minority ethnic parents with mental health problems and their children

Social Care Institute for Excellence, 2008

This document covers research that aids an understanding of the experiences of UK black and minority ethnic (BME) families where one or both parents have severe or enduring mental health problems and where children are under the age of 18. The briefing does not include older people (those aged 65 and over), dementia, detailed evaluations of services and interventions, or experiences of particular services.

While there are some valuable studies into the effects of parental mental health problems upon their children, the amount of directly relevant research is rather limited and coverage of different minority groups is patchy. However, it is possible to generalise from the greater body of research into mental health problems in BME communities, where this establishes the wider context and where the findings may reasonably be taken as being relevant to the circumstances of BME parents with mental health problems.’

The primary findings are that BME parents with mental health problems are more likely to experience poverty, discrimination and difficulties in accessing effective and appropriate mental health services, are more commonly reluctant to access mental health services and are more poorly serviced by mental health services.

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