Major new mental health contract set to improve support for ethnically and culturally diverse communities.

Local charities Mind in Bradford and Staying Put have won a joint bid to deliver a range of mental health treatment and services for ethnically and culturally diverse communities across Bradford district and Craven.

The £4.5m contract was awarded by NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board through the Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership following a competitive tender process.

Research shows that people from ethnically and culturally diverse communities are more likely to be diagnosed with mental health problems and are also more likely to experience a poor outcome from treatment.

The new mental health services will address this, by delivering culturally appropriate services for people from south Asian, eastern European, African and Caribbean backgrounds.

Mind in Bradford and Staying Put, a leading domestic abuse and sexual violence charity in Bradford, have over 50 years of combined community mental health and wellbeing experience and supported over 35,000 local people last year to access services.

Helen Davey, chief executive at Mind in Bradford and Yasmin Khan, chief executive at Staying Put, said: “We are excited to be working together to build a more inclusive approach that better understands and meets the mental health needs of our ethnically and culturally diverse communities.

“At the core of this we will tackle mental health inequalities, mental health stigma within and across communities, and create improved trust in services by co-designing them directly with people’s involvement.

“By improving understanding and access to community-based mental health services, we will help those who need it to improve their mental wellbeing and live happier and healthier lives.”

A wide range of mental health needs will be supported by both charities, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and other severe mental health problems.

The services will offer direct mental health support, working with Health Independent Domestic Abuse Advocates and encompassing the Healthy Minds service directory, with a key focus on supporting discharge from hospital into community mental health support settings.

Sasha Bhat, director for Healthy Minds at Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership, said: “We recognise providing culturally adapted and accessible support for people with mental health needs helps to reduce the inequalities in access, assessment and treatment of mental ill health.

“Our mission is to make it acceptable to acknowledge mental health difficulties and that people with serious problems are quickly supported by mental health specialists with skills and understanding to support their needs and promote recovery.

“It is crucial to acknowledge and understand the cultural nuances that impact an individual’s mental health. This new service is tailored to provide a safe and supportive environment where people can feel heard and understood and improve the support they receive.

“By providing better community mental health support this will help our wider local health system to understand the needs of people from ethnic and culturally diverse communities and deliver better care that makes the most efficient use of our resources across primary and secondary care.”

As part of the contract, other local voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSE) will be brought in to support delivery.

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