Breaking the circles of fear

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A review of the relationship between mental health services and African and Caribbean communities

15 July 2002

There is compelling evidence which shows that Black African and Caribbean people face a higher risk of coercion at every level in UK mental health services and experience poorer outcomes than their white counterparts.

Breaking the circles of fear is a review of the relationship between mental health services and African and Caribbean communities. It explores the stereotypes, cultural ignorance and coercion that have often been part of Black people’s experiences of mental health support in the UK, and it sets out how mutual fear and distrust creates ‘circles of fear’ between Black communities and mental health services.

This seminal report, published in 2002, is as relevant today as it was when it was published. It sets out recommendations for change in mental health services to try to break the circles of fear.

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