Here at UCL we are committed to providing equal opportunities for all, including our Black and minority ethnic (BME) community. Below we outline the range of BME specific support available to you.
A new UCL and Anna Freud study found that black, mixed-race and Asian young people are more than twice as likely to be referred to mental health services by social care or youth justice, rather than the more expected primary care pathways, than their white peers. On this page we've provided a range of resources which can help to assist our BME students with mental health and more generalist issues.
Support from London councils
Camden and Islington Councils
Below are just a few of the specialist BME related support services promoted by both Camden and Islington Councils.
- Imkaan – UK based, black feminist organisation dedicated to addressing violence against BME women and girls
- Chadswell Healthy Living Centre BAME Supporting Community Project - advice sessions, activities and support for the Bangladeshi, Somali and Chinese communities in the Kings Cross and Brunswick area
- Bengali Womens Health Project - a community based project offering health promotion activities at various community centres across south Camden
- Chinese Mental Health Association - provides support, assessment and counselling services for people of Chinese origin with mental health difficulties
- Accept Consortium - provides free psychotherapy and counselling services to Islington BME residents.
External BME specific mental health support
The Black, African and Asian Therapy Network - has collated a directory of services available throughout the UK which offer free counselling specifically set up to service the BME community
Access and Widening Participation
The Access and Widening Participation Office provides various opportunities for UCL students to get involved in the great work they do. Their projects work specifically with school students from under-represented groups. In particular, they work with students from state schools, those from low socio-economic backgrounds and from neighbourhoods with low rates of participation in higher education.
This also includes school students from ethnic minority backgrounds. The Access and Widening Participation Office particularly welcome applications from current UCL students from similar backgrounds to these school students as it is felt you can act as powerful role models.
Working as one of their ambassadors can help you to further develop your transferable skills such as communication, leadership and self-confidence and as a result of your work, you'll get to work more closely with the local community.
Racial and xenophobic harassment
If you have experienced or witnessed racial, xenophobic or any other kind of harassment on campus, there are ways to report it and numerous sources of support. Our policy pages also outline our stance on such behaviours.
Report + Support
UCL has launched an online reporting tool – ‘Report + Support’ for students and staff to report issues of unacceptable behaviour including bullying, harassment, racism and sexual misconduct. UCL maintains that unacceptable behaviour exists within our learning, working and living environments. While cases of unacceptable behaviour may not always have been dealt with effectively in the past, UCL is committed to making things better.
We shall remove the barriers to reporting, providing improved support to those affected and reviewing policies and procedures, to ensure these are fair and transparent for all parties involved. ‘Report + Support' provides staff and students with the opportunity to report anonymously or contact an advisor to make an informed decision about their support options.
You can also report a hate crime through the Students' Union UCL Hate Crime Reporting Centre. It provides a confidential platform for hate crimes to be reported, as well as an opportunity to access support.
Active bystander strategies
We ask all members of our community to stand together at this time and be exemplars of the inclusive ethos that UCL was founded on. We've put together a handy article explaining how to be an active bystander. Please do not let bullying or harassment go unchallenged. We are all responsible for ensuring that UCL is a safe, supportive environment for our staff and students.
Students' Union UCL provide more information and even run workshops on being an active bystander.
Hope not Hate facilitated talks
UCL are in contact with Hope not Hate, a politically neutral community organisation, who have offered to come and run some facilitated discussions for staff and students on tolerance and combating racism.
BME Students' Network
UCL has a ‘Black & Minority Ethnic Students' Network’ which represents the views of students’ at UCL who self-define as BME, including but not limited to, students with African, Asian, Arab, Caribbean and Indigenous heritages. This involves meetings to discuss issues that affect the network, running of campaigns and projects, and attending socials.
The network aims to empower and celebrate all BME students. The Network is chaired by the Black and Minority Ethnic Students’ Officer, a full-time sabbatical officer.
Students' Union UCL clubs and societies
Joining a club or society is one of the best possible ways to get more out of your time at UCL. Driven by drama, sport, art or politics or fancy meeting with other students who share the same nationality as you or interested in finding out more about a nationality not the same as yours? We've got all sorts of ways to discover people that share a similar experience and passion to you.
All our students have access to a range of resources to help them look after themselves and address specific issues related to mental health and wellbeing. Many of these can be accessed off campus, including apps, websites and videos.