Black History Month provides an opportunity to combat racism, promote inclusivity and drive positive social change. Its purpose is to bring awareness to the historical and contemporary experiences of individuals of African, Asian and other minority ethnicities living in the UK.
Research indicates that people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities are at higher risk of developing a mental health problem in adulthood. But they’re less likely to receive support for their mental health [NHS Digital (2026) Mental Health and Wellbeing in England].
Black History Month is not only a time to celebrate achievements but also an opportunity to address ongoing challenges. We explore mental health within BAME communities and offer tips on how organisations and employers can raise awareness and provide support.
Mental Health and BAME Backgrounds
For BAME groups, mental health problems are sometimes greater than for white people. For example, black men are more likely to have experienced a psychotic disorder and older South Asian women are at greater risk of suicide [Mental Health Foundation].
Some of the causes of poor mental health for individuals from BAME backgrounds are due to:
- Discrimination and racism
- Racial trauma
- Inequalities in wealth and living standards
- Mental health stigma
Organisations and workplaces must understand the barriers that BAME individuals face and know how to address these issues to raise awareness and ensure the right support is available.
Tips to Raise Awareness and Provide Support
Offer Wellbeing and Mental Health Support
It’s important to ensure your organisation offers easily accessible support to their people. Offer access to Employee Assistance Programmes for mental health support and wellbeing resources. Also, ensure that managers are aware of any services you have in place and how to make referrals when necessary.
Policies and Procedures
In accordance with the Equality Act of 2010, it is illegal to discriminate against people because of their race. Being familiar with the existing policies and understanding the appropriate procedures is essential if you or someone you know whether a colleague, friend, or family member, is facing discrimination.
Ensure your organisation embraces equality by promoting equal opportunities. This includes hiring and promoting individuals from diverse backgrounds, as well as creating a culture that values and supports diversity.
Online communities can offer a sense of belonging and support for those struggling with their mental health. Leverage the power of social media and digital platforms by engaging with people’s stories and sharing resources that raise awareness around black history and BAME groups.
In conclusion, Black History Month is an essential opportunity to address discrimination, promote inclusivity and bring awareness to the challenges faced by BAME communities. Research identifies the unique mental health challenges people of colour may face, making it crucial for organisations to embrace equality and offer support.
At PAM Wellbeing, we believe that everyone deserves to have access to proper mental health care and support, whoever or wherever they are.