Your mental health is unique to you, and you may have noticed it changing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether for better or for worse, it is so important to understand what affects your mental health and what can be done to keep a healthy mind. For BAME teenagers, understanding this is vital. From day-to-day environments to interactions happening in school, work, and home, certain triggers of poor mental health are part of the daily routines of some BAME teenagers. This is due to the unfortunate realities of racial discrimination as well as the isolation associated with the struggles of adapting to UK society for some first, second, and third generation immigrant children.
This research paper looks into the mental health of BAME teenagers amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic and picks at the details of what can be done in terms of support in Nottingham and beyond. For example, highlighting why some mental health services are avoided by BAME teenagers or not used as much.
A survey was carried out which collected the experiences of several Nottingham citizens asking about their mental health, ethnicity and relationship with mental health services. This uncovered some truths about the gaps in Nottingham healthcare services. I also asked the public what they would find most helpful in terms of mental health support. Valuable suggestions were made.
Making positive changes to mental health services for BAME teenagers may still have some way to go in having beneficial impact but it begins with recognition. Some incredible charities and organisations already exist in Nottingham to support the mental health of BAME citizens such as Nottingham Equal, BAME Counselling Hub and BAME Health Outreach Project. However, the focus on teenagers should be strengthened. Nurturing strong mental health in teenage years could set up BAME teenagers to be their most powerful selves when approaching their futures.
So, if you are a citizen in Nottingham, regardless of age or ethnicity, who has suffered/does suffer from poor mental health or knows someone who has/does then this research paper may be of interest to you. So, I do hope you enjoy the research carried out as we look forward to the future of mental health services for BAME teenagers.
Research done by Freya Finn.