Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Race and sectioning

Over the last twenty years several studies have shown that a disproportionate number of people from Black and other ethnic minority groups are compulsorily detained under the Mental Health Act. A review of 19 studies on this topic has found that Black people are 3.83 times as likely to be sectioned as White people while Asian people are 2.06 times as likely to be sectioned. The most common explanations the authors of the study found for this discrepancy were : misdiagnosis of and discrimination against ethnic minority patients, a higher incidence of psychosis among ethnic minority groups and the different ways that mental illness can manifest itself among different groups.

Singh, Swaran P. ... [et al] - Ethnicity and the Mental Health Act 1983 British Journal of Psychiatry August 2007, 191, 99-105

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