Research watch: people of Black African and African Caribbean heritage in the UK and USA – psychosis, racism and inclusion

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/MHSI-02-2020-0003
Pages67-74
Publication Date20 March 2020
Date20 March 2020
AuthorSue Holttum
SubjectHealth & social care,Mental health,Social inclusion
Research watch: people of Black African
and African Caribbean heritage in the UK
and USA psychosis, racism and
inclusion
Sue Holttum
Abstract
Purpose This paper aims to examinethree recent papers on psychosis and social inclusion in relation
to people of Black Africanand African Caribbean heritage in the UK and the USA.
Design/methodology/approach A search was carried outfor recent papers on psychosis and social
inclusion in relation topeople of Black African and African Caribbean heritagein the UK and the USA. I
selectedthree papers addressing this theme from differentangles.
Findings The first paper extends previous findings (that psychosis can follow traumatic events) to
Black Americans and includes the contribution of societal inequalities and racism. The second paper
illustrates Black men’s experiences of mental health services for psychosis in the UK. It finds, not
surprisingly, that a lack of listeningcombined with coercive use of medication reduces trustin services.
The third paper offers hope in reporting collaborative work with people of Black African Caribbean
heritage in the UK to culturally adapt family intervention for psychosis. The first and third papers both
place importanceon valuing people’s spiritual beliefs.
Originality/value All three papers highlight the on-going need for increased equity and social inclusion in
mental health services for people of Black African and African Caribbean heritage, in terms of recognising the
role of childhood trauma and later stresses, addressing the potential harm of over-reliance on medication,
offering therapy that is collaborative and culturally adapted and respecting valued spiritual beliefs.
Keywords Racism, Social inclusion, African Americans, Psychosis, African Caribbean
Paper type Viewpoint
Introduction
In this article, I look at three recent articles about the experiences of people of BlackAfrican
and African Caribbean heritage, in relation to psychosis services in the UK and the USA.
Rosen et al. (2017) have extended research on traumatic life events and psychosis to Black
Americans. Wagstaff et al. (2018) report on their in-depth interviews with seven Black men
in the UK about their experience of mental health services, shedding important light on why
professionals often see them as disengaging. Edge and Grey (2018) carried out
participatory action research to adapt familyintervention to increase its cultural relevance to
people of Black African Caribbeanheritage in the UK.
Traumatic and stressful lives are common for Black Americans diagnosed with
psychosis
Rosen et al. (2017) begin by reminding us of the links that have been found between past
traumatic life experiences and a range of mental health difficulties including psychosis.
Sue Holttum is based at
Salomons Institute for
Applied Psychology,
Canterbury Christ Church
University, Royal Tunbridge
Wells, UK.
DOI 10.1108/MHSI-02-2020-0003 VOL. 24 NO. 2 2020, pp. 67-74, ©Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 2042-8308 jMENTAL HEALTH AND SOCIAL INCLUSION jPAGE 67

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