At Hear Us, we’ve teamed up with the Community Development Workers (CDWs) based at Croydon BME Forum and Off The Record in order to find out more about what’s going on in services…

Mind the Gap: A Report on BME Mental Health Service Provision in CroydonWith so many people in Croydon needing support with their mental health and people coming from all different backgrounds, we wanted to find out how services are coping to meet the needs of people from different cultures.

Working with the team of Hear Us Linkworkers and Community Development Workers, we visited mental health services in Croydon and talked to service users, staff and carers about what is like to be a service user from a Black or Minority Ethnic (BME) background.

Through the project, we identified that there are lots of things that could be put in place to make services more accessible and better meet the needs of everyone living in Croydon with mental health problems.  For example, one finding showed that service staff need more training of different cultures.  The report also shows that services need to provide better information that is more understandable to people, particularly when people do not speak English as a first language. We also found that commissioners need to fund more community groups to support people outside of the ‘traditional’ mental health services.

For a full list of the findings and recommendations, you can download a copy of the report by clicking here

Alternatively, contact Hear Us to request a copy of the report.  This can be sent to as a hard copy in the post.  Simply email info@hear-us.org, call 020 8681 6888 or write to us, and we’ll get a report sent out to you.

What Happens Next?

To support services to take up the recommendations listed in the report, Hear Us is recruiting a set of BME Champions within each of our Linkworking Teams.  These Linkworkers will be working with staff in services to make sure that the practical things that can be done to improve services, in particular for people from BME backgrounds, are being implemented over the next year.

Our BME Champions will also be working with service providers and commissioners to campaign for the introduction of services that provide the support needed for people from BME communities, drawing on the findings made in the Mind The Gap report.

If you would like to get involved with the BME Champion Programme or would like to talk to a BME Champion about your experiences, your services or simply want to find out more about what is being done in Croydon to improve BME Mental Health Service Provision, then please contact the Linkworking Team..