EIP Race Equality Project

Race Equality Image


People from ethnic minority backgrounds are less likely to access community mental health services but are over represented in acute and more restrictive settings[1]. Their experience of services mirrors that of staff from ethnic minority groups: it is often more negative than their white counterparts and many of them report that they have never been asked about what impact structural racism has had on their mental health and generally on their lives

[1] Bhui K., Nazroo J., Francis J. et al. (2018) The impact of racism on mental health. Available at: https://synergicollaborativecentre.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/The-impact-of-racism-on-mental-health-briefing-paper-1.pdf [Accessed 04/07/20]


Covid-19 has put a spotlight on longstanding structural inequalities and the impact of social determinants such as racism on individual’s health, their subsequent access and experience of services. In recognition of the impact of recent events including the tragic disproportionate losses from the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, many organisations have made new pledges to improve diversity and equality in their workforce and service delivery. However, the majority of professional training does not include any teaching about health disparities caused or exacerbated by social determinants such as inequality or structural racism. Teams and their managers are having to navigate these issues and play their part in developing fairer and more equitable workplaces and clinical services, often with little or no prior experience of enacting anti-racism or successfully driving equality.


The purpose of this pilot project is to co-design introductory workshops on anti-racism and subsequent reflective sessions on cultivating anti-racist behaviour and promoting equality in the workplace and in clinical service delivery.


Dr Fabienne Palmer is a clinical psychologist whose final thesis examined: “What are adult mental health services doing to improve the outcomes for Black service users? A mixed method analysis of Black Psychologists’ perspectives and UK mental health Trust data” Dr Palmer has experience of delivering care to a wide range of client groups across the life-span (e.g. children, young people, adults, older adults and families) who come from diverse cultural and social backgrounds and contexts. She has worked within a variety of specialist multi-disciplinary services in community and inpatient settings.

Hári Sewell is a qualified social worker by background and has held senior posts in mental health and social care in the health sector, local authorities and central government. He has worked in the field of equalities and mental health nationally and internationally.


We have designed the project to flow as follows:

  1. Initial introductory session to Hari Sewell and Dr Palmer’s studies and findings
  2. An agreement of ways we will work together to ensure psychological safety
  3. Small subgroup to help design 3 sessions for leads to have supported reflection
  4. Review of sessions and any changes in behaviour via an online survey
  5. Final reflective session to summarise lessons learnt and plan next steps


It is aimed that the co-designed Race Equality sessions will equip team leaders with:

  1. An understanding of race equality and anti-racism theory and practice
  2. Confidence to have meaningful and respectfully curious conversations about race
  3. Ability to reflect on their own belief systems and the impact on behaviours
  4. Motivation to commit to an action or project to actively promote equality


Long Shadow of Race Inequality on Mental Health – Hári Sewell 8th October 2020
What are adult mental health services doing to improve outcomes for Black service users – South West EIP Race Equality Project presentation – Dr Fabienne Palmer 26th October 2020
Design workshop to determine format and focus of 3 reflective sessions using the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Safe Space Policy 28th October 2020