What do we mean by Crisis Care?

A mental health crisis is an emergency that poses a direct and immediate threat to your physical or emotional wellbeing and crisis care teams are the services responsible for providing urgent help to people who have a mental health crisis or are in distress. The charity, Rethink mental illness provides further information on crisis care ad you can find out more on the Advice and Information section of their website.

What is the issue

Our current mental health and well-being services continue to fail to meet the needs of people from Black African and Caribbean backgrounds. Black African and Caribbean are more likely to report both poorer outcomes and harsher experiences of services. For example, in Lambeth, mental health services, under the Mental Health Act, are five times more likely to detain Black people compared to White British people.

When examining pathways to mental health services in Lambeth, data showed Lambeth Talking Therapies services were 20% less likely to engage Black people with symptoms of common mental illness such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress when compared to their White British counterparts.

Services such as the police, A&E, social services and the benefit system did not work together to help people affected by mental illness as such, crisis care reform if not well coordinated will have little impact on the experience of Black African and Caribbean communities.  It is very important to note that there is no reliable evidence to show Black peoples have a biological predisposition to serious mental illness, it is a system riddled with inequality and services that are not inclusive and responsive to diverse experiences and perspectives.


The Black Thrive response

The Black Thrive partnership, through the work done by the Black Health and Wellbeing Commission (BHWC) is working to facilitate the realisation of the demands made by Black communities in the Commission’s 40 Recommendations (you can read more in detail about on the resources page of our website).

The report stated that voluntary sector providers of crisis care often showed higher levels of user satisfaction when compared to services offered in medical settings. We will be working with local communities and local services to develop more voluntary led alternative models of crisis support, such as crisis cafes, safe havens, and crisis houses, providing an alternative to A&E or inpatient psychiatric admission.

We are currently working directly with services to facilitate increased collaborative working between mental health services, criminal justice systems and the voluntary and community sectors to ensure that change is embedded across all organisations responsible for preventing and providing care during a mental health crisis.


How to get involved in our work

You can get in touch with us by emailing [email protected] to find out more information about:

  • Getting involved in a working group
  • Ask us for more information on the work.