Mental Health and Wellbeing for Ethnically Diverse Women

Mental Health and Wellbeing for Ethnically Diverse Women contains practical techniques for managers to understand the unique challenges faced by Black, Asian and ethnic minority employees.

This guide, funded by The Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation, contains practical techniques for managers to build authentic relationships and foster a deeper appreciation of the unique mental health challenges faced by Black, Asian and ethnic minority employees.

Disparities in mental health outcomes

There is increasing recognition of the disparities in mental health outcomes across ethnicities in the UK. The Cabinet Office Race Disparity Unit highlighted that in 2014, 29% of Black/Black British women had experienced a common mental health disorder during the working week leading up to the survey. The same was reported by 29% of women from a Mixed Other background and 24% of Asian women. These are higher rates than for White British women or Other White women – 21% and 16% respectively1. Women from ethnically diverse backgrounds are more likely to face discrimination and racist abuse. These experiences can lead to increased stress, hyper-awareness of difference, increased levels of psychosis and depression, decreased self-esteem, emotional distress, trauma and post-traumatic stress. 2

It is important that managers are aware of differences in challenges linked to their employees’ mental health and wellbeing as a result of cultural background and lived experience.

Mental Health and Wellbeing for Ethnically Diverse Women: a practical guide for managers

This guide contains practical techniques for managers to build authentic relationships and foster a deeper appreciation of the unique mental health challenges faced by Black, Asian and ethnic minority employees.

This guide has been funded by The Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation. It has been developed in
partnership with race and mental health experts Tamikah Andrew-Thomas, Integrative Counsellor and
Psychotherapist, Head of Programme for Psychology and Counselling, City Lit and Delrose Bowes, Humanistic Integrative Counsellor and Co-ordinator of Psychology and Counselling, City Lit. The guide draws on their 28-years of combined experience in supporting organisations and individuals with identifying and responding to the unique mental health challenges faced by Black, Asian and ethnic minority women.

This guide supplements the Business in the Community toolkit, Self-Care and Wellbeing for Ethnically Diverse Women: A practical guide for employees.

About Business in the Community’s race equality campaign

In addition to supporting individuals with self-care, Business in the Community’s (BITC) race equality campaign has been tackling the systemic root causes of racial disparities at work for more than 25 years. This toolkit supplements guidance in BITC’s Mental Health and Wellbeing for Ethnically Diverse Women: A Practical Guide for Managers.

The Race at Work campaign was established by HRH the Prince of Wales in 1995 with the support of key business leaders who recognised the demographic shift in existing and future populations. It brings together expertise from a network of private and public sector partners to offer tailored advice and share new insights to drive long-term change.

Action by employers could boost the UK economy by £24 billion annually3. Businesses with ethnically diverse senior teams financially outperform competitors by 36%4. However, these potential gains are being stifled by the unequal barriers faced by ethnic minorities in the workplace. BITC is committed to empowering employers to tap into this economic potential by accelerating change for Black, Asian and ethnic minority employees.

There are two key actions leaders can take today to amplify your commitment to improving equality of opportunity in the workplace.

Find out more about BITC’s race equality campaign.

What if your job was good for you?

REFERENCES
  1. NHS Digital (2017) Common mental disorders, originally published 10 October 2017. Last updated 6 November 2020.
  2. Synergi Collaborative Centre (2018) The impact of racism on mental health.
  3. McGregor-Smith (2017) Race in the workplace: The McGregor-Smith Review, 28 February.
  4. McKinsey & Co, (2020) Diversity wins: How inclusion matters, 19 May.