The mental health and wellbeing of elders in black and minority ethnic communities: working together for mental wellbeing

What is the video about?

The focus of this film is the Chinese community in Barnet. Due to language and cultural barriers and lack of information, Chinese older people in Barnet have not been able to access services.

The local authority Innovation Fund has enabled organisations to bid for seed money to develop personalised services led by the community. Through this fund, the Chinese Mental Health Association (CMHA) has been able to set up a pilot scheme which offers a range of services. These include access to Chinese and western doctors, healthy living talks, a culturally sensitive befriending service, and written information in Chinese about direct payments.

The film portrays how people who use services are able to exercise more choice and control in services so for example, older people choose topics for discussion at the healthy living talks. CMHA has done much to improve the mental wellbeing of Chinese older people in Barnet.

Messages for practice

  1. Information provided in appropriate languages and formats is absolutely crucial to enable BME older people access the whole range of services offered by personalisation.
  2. Services should ensure that attention is given to ensuring that the cultural needs of BME older people are addressed. This includes things like providing appropriate food.
  3. Personalisation may provide new opportunities for making use of community facilities and, through generating services and solutions more appropriate to each individual, can enhance mental wellbeing for people who are not well served by current social care provision.
  4. Direct payments and personal budgets can offer a wider range of choice to BME older people through providing more personalised ways of arranging services that promote mental wellbeing.
  5. People who use services should be provided with opportunities to give feedback about services to shape their development.

Who will find this useful?

commissioners, social workers and social worker managers from older adults social care and older adult mental health teams; social care staff in the independent sector, (which includes the voluntary and community sector); people working and managing user-led organisations (ULOs).