Institutional Racism and the Mental Health Act Review conference

On 1st June, Suman Fernando and ROTA presented an Institutional Racism and the Mental Health Act Review conference, hosted at University of East London. The event showcased ways of counteracting institutional racism in mental health services by promoting culture-change in professional practice and safeguarding human rights of people who use mental health services or are caught up in the mental health system.

The day featured talks, workshops / panels for professionals and users / survivors of the mental health system on ways of counteracting institutional racism in mental health services.

Topics included possible changes in legislation (including the Mental Health Act) and the models used in psychiatry and psychology, so that services would face up to the problems arising from institutional racism, such as deprivation of liberty (through excessive sectioning), over-use of psychotropic drugs for control of racialised groups and unethical use of psychological and psychiatric categorisation.