"Since the Windrush generation arrived in the 1950s, Lambeth has been home to the UK's largest black community. Many people of African and Caribbean origin have thrived here and make a massive contribution to our cultural and economic life. 

Despite the successes, inequality remains, particularly for people of Caribbean descent, and in mental health and wellbeing this inequality is most obvious. 

Black Caribbean people make up 7% of the population registered with Lambeth GPs and yet account for 17% of people with serious mental illnesses. Other black groups are also overrepresented amongst those with serious mental health conditions and the disproportionate numbers get higher the more severe the diagnosis and treatment setting. Whilst 26% of people in Lambeth identify as Black African or Caribbean, 50% of Lambeth residents in high secure and 67% in low and medium secure psychiatric detention are from these groups.

This is not solely a Lambeth phenomenon and nationally black men are 17 times more likely to be diagnosed with a serious mental health illness than their white counterparts. These kinds of figures and the coroner’s report into the 2008 death of Sean Rigg prompted the borough’s newly formed Health and Wellbeing Board to establish this Commission to look at improving prevention and treatment of mental illness amongst our black residents." 

- Commission Forward, From Surviving to Thriving, by Cllr Edward Davie and Cllr Jacqueline Dyer