In Spring 2018, Citizens:mk’s Mental Health campaign team conducted a survey to find out about experiences of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (‘IAPT’) among Muslim and LGBT+ communities in Milton Keynes.
This research was supported by Tyrone Blackford-Swarries, Director of MK Mental Health Services (pictured at the Citizens:mk Accountability Assembly last year), who is interested to know why some communities are less likely to undertake IAPT assessments than others.
Responses were received from 14 Muslims and 19 LGBT+ people, with combined results as follows:
- 73% said that, if they needed a Mental Health assessment, they would use the IAPT service (12% knew the meaning of ‘IAPT’).
- Two respondents (6%) gave ‘fear of bullying/prejudice/racism/sexism’ as a reason for not using the service. Two said they were unable to face a phone assessment.
- 88% said they were more likely to request and attend a face-to-face appointment if offered one in a location of their choice – 78% expressed home as a preference, 42% the Hospital, 30% Q:alliance meeting place).
- 76% would take up the offer of a psychological therapy service.
- Contact details were provided by 36% of respondents from Muslim communities and 3% of respondents from LGBT+.
These results will be discussed with the IAPT Team to explore policy implications.
Roz Mascarenhas from the Youth Participation Team of MK Council invited Citizens:mk’s Mental Health campaign team to lead a Mental Health workshop at the MySayMK Conference for pupils from local secondary schools. The conference was held at MK Christian Centre in Oldbrook (pictured).
The workshop was facilitated by campaign leader Tess Price and two new team members, Brett Farrier-Smith and Laura Gaskell from the YMCA, along with Community Organiser Tom Bulman. The workshop was delivered twice to a total of about 50 young people aged 11-16.
Through structured conversations (121, small group and whole group), short-listing and a process of voting at the end, the following mental health issues were prioritised for action (in priority order):
- Teacher Support and Awareness of Mental Health Needs and Issues in School (20 Votes)
- Support at School for Individual Needs (16 Votes)
- Teacher education/training on Mental Health (12 Votes)
- Improving Access to Services and Support for ‘Lower Risk’ Young People who can’t access CAMHS (9 Votes)
- De-stigmatising Mental Health needs, especially taking into account students/young people’s individual backgrounds, cultures and religions (9 Votes)
- Treating everyone the same, in school and outside school, so that young people don’t feel further isolated/stigmatised by their mental health needs/issues (9).
It was agreed that the outcomes would be shared with MK Council and other stakeholders including the Joint Commissioner for the Clinical Commissioning Group and the Director of MK Mental Health Services.