Project information

BME Mental Health Advocacy

To provide a specialist BME Mental Health Advocacy service to mental health service users across all health, social care and community settings within Bradford & Airedale. The service will be user led, independent, confidential and specialise in working with and supporting cultural impact issues.

Three Years

Charity information: Vital Projects

Vital Projects
  • Need


    Our BME Mental Health Advocacy Service will provide independent advocacy support to those using and accessing mental health services within our area. It is the well noted that BME mental health service users have to deal with higher levels of discriminatory practice when using and accessing services. Our service aims to work within communities to raise awareness and understanding of mental ill health and challenge discriminatory practice in the provision of mental health services.


    Ensuring that service user voices are heard and their rights are protected the service will address and reduce language and cultural barriers that act to discriminate against BME service users. Acting with and supporting people from a service user led perspective will empower service users to get the most out of services and engage positively. We will work within and protect service user rights under the Mental Health Act and other relevant legislation.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide specialist mental health advocacy to BME community members using mental health services.


    » Recieve referrals from individuals and agencies and professionals.
    » Provide specialist mental health advocacy support to BME service users in relation to their health, social and other care needs
    » To provide a walkthrough signposting service when refering on to other agencies and stay with them as necessary in this process
    » Ensure that we work to overcome barriers around language and culture that impact on the service user.

    What success will look like

    We expect to support an average of 50 service users per year through a variety of brief and in-depth advocacy issues within hospital, care and community settings.

    Aim 2

    To raise awareness of mental ill health and services within BME communities and of our service.


    » Undertake outreach work within communities settings providing talks and generating appropriate referrals to the service.
    » Undertake work with statutory and non statutory agencies to promote the work we do and the benefits of independent mental health advocacy.

    What success will look like

    We will further develop our links within communities and will target community centres, mosques and temples to promote mental health and our service.

    Aim 3

    To support and empower mental health service users to speak up for themselves.


    » By promoting empowerment through the provision of mental health advocacy.
    » Provide issue based advocacy, in a manner that is supportive of service user independence.

    What success will look like

    Service users will feel more able to become involved in the decisions that impact upon them. We will measure this via direct feedback from those that use our service.

  • Impact


    We will generate a number of long term changes via this service . Primarily the change will be that individual mental health service users will be provided with independent support in relation to their mental ill health. We will develop a lasting and increased awareness of issues impacting upon mental health service users such as stigma, discrimination and language and cultural issues. We will increase partnership working between communities and mental health service providers.


    There is a great deal of apprehension among mental health service users from within BME communities and therefore a risk that people will be fearful of disclosing their ill health and accessing appropriate support. We will respond to this risk be ensuring that our specialist mental health advocate is from a BME background and in doing so dispelling a major barrier to people accessing the service, and being able to disclose mental health support needs.


    As an established service we have a number of systems in place to record the work we undertake within this service. We will collate statistical information about referrals, visits and outcomes as well as gathering qualitative information from people using the service via feedback and testimonies.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £78,750

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £68,500 Salary & on costs 21 hrs pw week for 3 years
      £10,250 Running & Delivery Costs Overheads, office supplies, IT, rent and insurance
  • Background


    The service is will be provided across Bradford & Airedale which is the third highest in the country for people receiving incapacity benefit due to mental ill health and has higher than the national average of BME communities within the population. Bradford is also located within poverty indexes and has a history of racial disharmony including 'race riots'. We are the third largest metropolitan district and have had significant numbers of people under refugee and asylum seeker status.


    With over 400,000 people Bradford has a high level of migrant communities from a south Asian background and established BME communities that are now third and fourth generation. It is envisaged that the service will receive a high up take from south Asian community groups and will also work to develop links within asylum seeking and refugee community groups.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    With over 21 years experience of providing specialist independent and user led mental health services we have excellent local networks and are well known with both statutory and non statutory health and social care providers. Our advocacy service has been independently assessed and was awarded the Quality Mark for the Advocacy Sector and includes the Imca Specific Review Quality Mark. We are dynamic and grounded organisation and the only provider of mental health advocacy in our area.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    BME Mental Health Advocate

    This is the person that will be employed to provide the service, and who receives support, supervision and practice management from the organisation.


    To ensure that the service is managed in accordance with the ethos of the organisation and that the advocate is suitably supported and qualified.