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Colouring the Mind: Racism and Mental Health – The System

Colouring the Mind: Racism and Mental Health – The System

Colouring the Mind: Racism and Mental Health’ is a new In Conversation mini-series that will explore how racism affects mental health, with a particular focus on racism in the mental health system and racism in the mental health concept.

In this episode, Malaika Okundi and Jessica O’Logbon focus on racism in the mental health system and discuss what the mental health system is, how people of colour are treated in the mental health system, and where we can go from here.

Discussion points include:

  • Definition of the mental health system with a focus on the UK mental health system.
  • Formal and informal mental health systems.
  • How people of colour are treated differently by the mental health system.
  • The biases that exist for people of colour within the mental health system.
  • Distrust in the mental health system and how history impacts people’ s perspectives of the system.
  • The importance of cultural competency training and lived experience advising.

Please note that what Malaika and Jess share in this series is derived from their work, as well as from research and literature surrounding these topics. Whilst they are not experts on racism or mental health, personal experience does play a role in their discussions.

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Malaika Okundi
Malaika Okundi

Malaika Okundi is an early career researcher working on the Transmission of experiences of Racism, Anxiety and Depression (TRADE) project, the Catalogue of Mental Health Measures and the Landscaping International Longitudinal Datasets (LILD) project. She recently completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Global Health and Social Medicine – Neuroscience at King’s College London. Malaika’s research interests are varied and include interspecies approaches to medicine, biotechnology and its effects on society, data science, longitudinal datasets and the mental health of minority groups. She is enjoying gaining research experience as she decides which of her many ideas to focus on for a PhD.

Jessica O'Logbon
Jessica O’Logbon

Jessica O’Logbon is a final year medical student at King’s College London who recently undertook a Master’s in Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge as an intercalated year. Jessica is passionate about raising awareness of health inequalities and methods to tackle them, which is how she became particularly interested in mental health. She was a founding member of the Black & Minority Ethnics in Psychology and Psychiatry (BiPP) Network and ran events to discuss men’s mental health, barriers to service use in BME communities and the effect of racism on mental health – the complex relationship between intersectionality and mental health is often overlooked.

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