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    Black and ethnic minority carers perceptions on mental health services and support in the United Kingdom: a systematic review

    Miller, Eula, Bosun-Arjie, ., Stella Foluke and Ekpenyong, Mandu Stephen (2021) Black and ethnic minority carers perceptions on mental health services and support in the United Kingdom: a systematic review. Journal of Public Mental Health, 20 (4). pp. 298-311. ISSN 1746-5729

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    Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine and synthesise the empirical evidence on the perceptions of Black and Ethnic Minority (BAME) carers views on mental health (MH) services and support offered in the UK. Design/methodology/approach A comprehensive search conducted by searching Medline, Cumulated Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature and Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Collection served to identify relevant studies that explored the perceptions of BAME carers on MH services. Other key sources and reference list of identified journal articles were searched to ascertain that this review contains all relevant studies and captured studies not indexed in the databases. Using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tool, 20 relevant studies published between 1996 and 2020 retrieved were and reviewed. From the reviewed papers five themes emerged which summarised the perception of BAME carers views on MH services and support services offered in the UK. Findings Critical appraisal of 20 studies that met the ascribed inclusion criteria was undertaken. A total of 18 studies were of qualitative design, one used a quantitative approach and one was a systematic review. Several themes addressing the participants’ views were identified from the studies. The core themes central to these studies were: awareness and utilization of available MH services, language barriers to accessing MH services, positive experience whilst in contact with MH services, negative experience whilst in contact with MH services and difficulties in seeking help. Research limitations/implications One of the review criteria was to focus on peer-reviewed articles; grey literature was exempted from the search for relevant studies. Although a systematic literature review was conducted, there is the possibility that some appropriate studies were not identified. This could be because of different use of key terms in some of the studies. Papers that identified and acknowledged BAME MH carers and MH services were focused on, which resulted in 20 eligible studies for synthesis. Originality/value This review revealed the perception of BAME carers on MH services and available support offered. It highlighted that a significant number of BAME carers had limited understanding of the range of available MH services and support on offer within the UK. The review highlighted that fear of stigmatisation, discrimination in conjunction with the formulaic nature of MH services, delayed at best and inhibited at worst BAME Carers from accessing support from MH services, which consequentially had detrimental effects on service users receiving the timely appropriate support needed (Mermon et al., 2016). It is, therefore, a recommended imperative that MH services are deliberate in their endeavour to be inclusive, culturally embracing and accessible, if the MH needs of diverse ethnic minority groups within the UK are to be met appropriately.

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