BME Mental Health

Diverse Cymru provides support, services and advice to Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) people throughout Wales who are affected by mental ill health

A number of reports have highlighted that although there is an over-representation of BME adults within the mental health services there is also an under-representation of BME young people accessing mental health services. Furthermore, BME people are less likely to be referred by a GP for support despite this leading to higher percentages than average later being admitted to hospital with chronic mental health problems.

As part of Diverse Cymru’s mission, we are striving to make positive differences in these statistics. We are using our position to raise awareness both within Wales’ BME communities and among health care professionals of the additional issues and barriers that face BME people around accessing mental health services.

We want people to feel confident and comfortable when accessing services, and for health care practitioners to feel more knowledgeable when facing the complexities of the issues that some BME people face in seeking help.

Our projects

All-Wales BME Mental Health Project

Funded by the Welsh Government as part of their Section 64 grants, the All-Wales BME Mental Health Project focuses on representing the views, opinions and experiences of BME adults with mental ill-health to policy makers and practitioners at a strategic level. This engagement helps ensure that the barriers specific to BME people are taken into account in the development and implementation of legislation, policies, procedures and practices throughout Wales.

BME Mental Health Workplace Good Practice Certification Scheme

From April 2018, we have engaged with Health Boards, Trusts and voluntary sector organisations across Wales, assisting them to achieve the Diverse Cymru BME Mental Health Workplace Good Practice Certification. A quality mark independently verified by the United Kingdom Investor in Equality and Diversity (UKIED), the Certification will confirm an organisation’s commitment to the accessibility and quality of BME mental health services.

This project has been endorsed by The Royal College of Psychiatrists and is the first Scheme of its kind in the UK.

BME Dementia Research

We are investigating the experiences of BME adults with dementia and their families/carers in Cardiff, Newport, Swansea and Wrexham. The House of Commons All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia’s 2013 report ‘Dementia does not discriminate’ found that the number of BAME people with dementia is expected to double across England and Wales by 2026. Our investigation will find out what, if anything is missing from the care of BME people and what could make it better, as well as finding out if statutory and voluntary sector services are geared up to respond appropriately to the diverse community in Wales.  This will be the first report of its kind in Wales.


We deliver our successful BME Mental Health Awareness Raising to Mental Health practitioners, policy makers and the voluntary sector across the 7 LHBs in Wales.

BME Mental Health Cardiff and Vale Glamorgan BME Mental Health Project

Who we work with:

  • People from African, African/Black Caribbean, Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani communities
  • The long-established 3rd and 4th generation mixed parentage population of Cardiff
  • Asylum seekers and refugees

Our services include:

  • An individual Recovery plan – Collaborating with clients to identify individual goals and ideal paths to recovery
  • Support in the community – Help and support with everyday situations
  • Information and advice
  • Befriending – Befriending volunteers are trained and supported by Diverse Cymru to provide an informal social outlet to people who are isolated by their mental ill-health
  • Signposting for individuals, family members and carers
  • Hospital and GP visits
  • Understanding and encouragement

Who can make a referral?:

  • Potential clients can self-refer
  • Voluntary and community organisations
  • Agencies working with homeless people
  • Housing support workers
  • Social services
  • Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs)
  • GPs and other health professionals
  • Probation services
  • Refugees and Asylum Seeker organisations

HYPE Cymru

Following our report Better Outcomes, New Approach Diverse Cymru identified the need to work proactively with professionals and young people to improve awareness and access around mental health and mental health services. To achieve this, Diverse Cymru, funded by the Welsh Government, has employed a BME Mental Health Youth Worker who, working specifically with young BME people aged up to 25 in Cardiff, Newport, Wrexham and Swansea, holds focus groups to gain their insights and views on the issues that affect them.

The findings will help form the basis of training courses and awareness raising sessions for youth services, CAMHS and other professional organisations whose work includes young BME men in order to improve cultural sensitivity and inclusion.

HYPE CYMRU – Helping young people through empowerment. Delivering workshop to key stage 2 and 3 and young people up to the age of 25 years old.

HYPE Cymru carries out workshops on feelings, mental health knowledge, and breaking down stigma attached to mental health and how to talk about mental health, and who to speak to if you need help.

The project is run in Cardiff Newport Swansea and Wrexham. HYPE Cymru work in primary schools, secondary schools, youth centres, and even running our own shed, were you can drop in during the day and evening to have a chat and pick up information on mental health.

Green prescription – this involves taking young people out and about in wales, using a holistic approach. HYPE Cymru works to help young people to take time out, maybe by doing a form of exercise, or walking. HYPE encourages young people to practice mindfulness when they are on walks and to listen to themselves. .

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BME Mental Health Awareness Raising Sessions

The BME Mental Health awareness raising sessions use a mixture of theory and best practice to create a better understanding of the barriers and difficulties facing people from BME communities with mental ill health. The groups are interactive and participatory and are guided by the values of respect, honesty and inclusivity. By the end of a session participants will have:

  • Become more aware of the cultural and religious issues faced by BME individuals
  • Explored how to address these issues
  • Considered the reasons for the disproportionate BME referrals and detention
  • Considered the potential barriers that may be faced by BME individuals

The BME Mental Health awareness raising sessions can be delivered as a half day or a full day.

Resource Library

For all enquiries and referrals, or to find out more about BME Mental Health Awareness Raising sessions, contact the BME Mental Health team on 029 2036 8888 option 4.

At Diverse Cymru our aims, ideals and services are all based around empowering and uplifting the voices of people facing inequality across Wales.