The Core Study


West Berkshire Case Study: Improving Access to Mental Health Services for South Asian Community

The acute inpatient service and CRHTT conducted a joint audit in January 2013 to identify admission trends of BME groups to Inpatient and CRHTT services. The audit identified that South Asian groups were represented significantly higher within the inpatient service in comparison to CRHTT.  An in depth analysis of cases identified that there is a reluctance to seek help from secondary mental health services at the early stages of mental health crises for the following reasons:-
•    Interpretation of cultural factors by assessing clinicians
•    Cultural stigma
•    Lack of understanding and awareness relating to mental health conditions
•    Lack of awareness of services available and accessing services
To address the above findings, CRHTT in collaboration with Inpatient services designed and delivered a training day to develop competencies and skills required to minimise cultural barriers and enhancing clinician's awareness of cultural characteristics of the South Asian community.
The day included activities in developing clinician's skills to reduce the stigma and cultural barriers associated with mental health and associated services so that the clinician's develop a clear understanding of the types of strategies which they can utilise. The workshop also focused on the importance of protecting and involving the service users' family members in achieving better mental health outcomes.
The overall feedback received by the clinicians who took part highlighted that the workshop was highly useful and they all achieved a greater understanding of cultural and religious beliefs related to the South Asian community.  
Berkshire Healthcare organisation has now extended this workshop to both mental health and primary care clinicians as part of improving South Asian cultural awareness to enhance the care delivered by the organisation to this identified population.