The Mental Health Services Equality Development Group was launched in 2006 with the aim of ensuring that structures were in place to give everyone equality of access to treatment and services
Martin Montgomery, general manager, forensic services, and lead for equality on the group, said: “The aim of our approach is to raise awareness of equality amongst our services and our staff.
“We also want to bring an operational management perspective and make it relevant to services as well, and I think this is the challenge for the equalities agenda and language.
“Staff are implementing equality policies and there are training courses available to support frontline staff, addressing anti-stigma issues for example.”
Amongst the ongoing key objectives are to develop and support good practice across mental health settings using a network of local mental health equalities leads and also look at the implications for these services of the new age discrimination legislation which came into force in October.
During 2011/12 the group was involved in developing, testing, sharing learning and problem solving around a number of policies and groups.
This included ensuring services are accessible, for example through the Accessible Information Policy and new interpreting procedures.
The group also shared learning on mental health indicators linked to the impact of the recession and explored meeting the needs of marginalised groups through projects such as the WAH Kin project with the Chinese community and scoping work with Roma people.