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Institutional racism in psychiatry: lessons from inquiries

  • Swaran P. Singh (a1)
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‘While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, they are not entitled to their own facts' (attributed to Daniel Patrick Moynihan). The President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists recently reiterated the College's determination to tackle institutional racism in psychiatry, as defined in the MacPherson Report (MacPherson, 1999). This reaction was prompted by a paper suggesting that racism was perhaps not the only explanation for ethnic differences in rates of psychosis and detention under the Mental Health Act 1983 (Singh & Burns, 2006). Although not providing a scientific criticism of the BMJ paper or any evidence to the contrary, the President stated that the paper risked setting ‘psychiatry back by 20 years’ (Hollins & Moodley 2006).

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Bhui, K. & Sashidharan, S. P. (2003) Should there be separate psychiatric services for ethnic minority groups? British Journal of Psychiatry, 182, 1012.
Department of Health (2005) Delivering Race Equality in Mental Health Care: An Action Plan for Reform Inside and Outside Services and the Government's Response to the Independent Inquiry into the Death of David Bennett. Department of Health.
Hollins, S. & Moodley, P. (2006) Racism in mental health. http://www.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/333/7569/648
McKenzie, K. & Bhui, K. (2007) Institutional racism in mental health care. BMJ, 334, 649650.
McLaughlin, K. (2007) Multiculturalism: Bad for your Mental Health? http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/3046
MacPherson, W. (1999) The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry. TSO (The Stationery Office).
Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority (2003) Independent Inquiry into the Death of David Bennett. Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Staregic Health Authority.
Ritchie, J., Dick, D. & Lingham, R. (1994) The Report of the Inquiry into the Care and Treatment of Christopher Clunis. TSO (The Stationery Office).
Sashidharan, S. P. (2003) Inside Outside: Improving Mental Health Services for Black and Minority Ethnic Communities in England. Department of Health.
Singh, S. P. & Burns, T. (2006) Race and mental illness: there is more to race than racism. BMJ, 333, 648651.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Institutional racism in psychiatry: lessons from inquiries

  • Swaran P. Singh (a1)
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