SCIE media statement

Mental health and BME older people – new films

10 June 2011

New from Social Care TV: mental health and wellbeing of older people in black and minority ethnic communities

I feel I couldn’t go out, I couldn’t do anything. I have the willpower, but after my cancer I feel I’m going down. Then I discovered SubCo.

Mrs Mahindru, service-user, east London

Mrs Mahindru features in ‘Promoting mental wellbeing’, one of three films launched on Social Care TV looking at the mental wellbeing of older people in black and minority ethnic communities.

BME communities are often at greater risk of isolation and loneliness, which SCIE has found are two of the most significant factors linked to poor mental wellbeing. These films look at how social care professionals can work together to provide personalised services that help to alleviate problems with isolation and give people back their independence.

David Walden, Director of Adult Services at SCIE, says:

Personalised services are key to ensuring BME communities do not feel isolated, which our research has found can lead to poor mental wellbeing. Not only do services like this work, as featured in the Social Care TV films, but they can also be cheaper than providing services where individuals may have reached a point of crisis and are in need of more costly interventions.

The Social Care TV films feature:

Case study: The mental health and wellbeing of elders in the black and minority ethnic community: promoting mental wellbeing

Originally from east Africa, Mrs Mahindru lives alone in London. She has limited mobility because of her illness and is unable to leave home without help. This means Mrs Mahindru is at risk of isolation and loneliness, which SCIE has found are two of the most significant factors linked to poor mental wellbeing. Her social worker referred her to Subco.

The SubCo centre in Newham provides a place for BME communities to get together and take part in activities that they are interested in. Since attending SubCo Mrs Mahindru has seen improvements in her physical health and has made new friends, which has had a positive effect on her mental wellbeing. She says: If I go to the SubCo I feel my home, my family is there.

Media contact

Steve Palmer | Press and Public Affairs Manager | Tel: 020 7766 7419 | Mob: 07739 458 192 | Email: media@scie.org.uk