Commissioning and providing mental health advocacy for African and Caribbean men
SCIE Guide 21
Published March 2008
About this guide
The purpose of this guide is to provide pointers for commissioners and providers of advocacy services to ensure that African and Caribbean men have access to appropriate high-quality mental health advocacy. Appropriate advocacy services contribute to countering the effects of social exclusion and discrimination, which have been identified as significant issues for these men in their engagement with mental health services. The guide provides:
- key messages from the research evidence
- principles to guide positive practice
- translating these principles into practice
- options for the organisation of advocacy
- examples of advocacy services for African and Caribbean men
- implications for mental health service users from other black and minority ethnic communities
- information about available resources.
The guide draws heavily on SCIE Knowledge Review 15. This features a literature review and practice survey, including interviews and focus groups with African and Caribbean men, in order to identify the basis for the organisational models and principles discussed in this guide.
However, this guide does not suggest a single solution and describes a range of ways that mental health advocacy can be organised to meet a diverse range of individual needs. The focus on men reflects the concern about their over-representation and negative experiences of mental health services. There are clearly equivalent and specific issues for African and Caribbean women requiring consideration, albeit out of the scope of this guide.
This guide has information for:
- African and Caribbean service users, their families and communities
- providers of advocacy services
- black and minority ethnic community development workers
- mental health service managers.
How you can help
SCIE welcomes comments on any aspect of the guide which will inform future updates. We are also very interested in collecting further examples of good practice. Please send us your feedback about this guide or get in touch - see our Contact us page for details.
This guide has been developed from SCIE Knowledge Review 15 and we are indebted to the original project team, to our partner organisations: African Caribbean Mental Health Service, Manchester; Equalities National Council for Black Disabled People and their Carers; Lancashire Advocacy and to all those who participated in the original research. We would also like to thank Di Barnes, Suzanne Duval, Awetu, Karen Mellanby, Action for Advocacy, Laura Salisbury, Centre for Ethnicity and Health and Dominic Makuvachuma Walker, Catch-a-Fiya, for their ongoing support. Finally we would like to thank all the organisations that have agreed to be included in this guide.