Backing mental health support for staff from ethnically marginalised communities

Since the start of the pandemic, the teams at Guy’s and St Thomas’ have worked tirelessly to look after people from our community – and beyond. With your generous support, we’ve able to make sure that we in turn care for them, no matter their background.

We’re backing a unique service to help ensure all of Guy’s and St Thomas’ dedicated staff get access to psychological support.  

Working through the pandemic has not been easy for any healthcare workers. For staff from most ethnically marginalised communities, it has been even tougher – with people of Black African, Black Caribbean, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Indian heritage experiencing higher rates of illness and death from COVID-19 compared to those from White ethnic groups.  

The huge disparities around how people access care can mean that when people from ethnically marginalised communities experience mental or emotional distress, it is not as easy to get access to the full range of support. Healthcare workers, particularly Black people, are more likely to be given medication than be offered talking therapy, counselling, or other kinds of support by their GP. They often report negative experiences of services and poorer outcomes from treatment.  

Guy’s and St Thomas’ are leading the way in addressing this inequality and being there for all their staff, especially as they continue to navigate the ongoing pandemic.  

Dr Raselle Miller is currently the only lead clinical psychologist in England working solely to support ‘Global Majority’ group access to health, wellbeing and psychological support.  

People can contact Raselle directly for race, ethnicity or diversity related wellbeing support or talking therapy. She also offers reflective learning spaces for managers, teams or departments who might recognise the role that race-based inequality can play within their services.  

“My role is to create awareness of these experiences and to ensure that the organisation’s health and wellbeing initiatives, and other offers are accessible and culturally sensitive.”

Dr Raselle Miller

Some of the individual difficulties might include distress related to the impact of racial or ethnicity related microaggressions, biases or experiences of direct discrimination and racism. They can also be around inequalities in work progression or perceived fair access to things like professional educational support. 

As part of the staff wellbeing, psychological and spiritual support programme that your donations supports, we are backing a unique new service for people from ethnically marginalised backgrounds – who make up around 45% of the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust community.  

“The fact that the Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity has funded this position is brilliant. It’s hugely innovative for the Trust to recognise that there is a need for such a position for our diverse workforce. If experiences are different our responses to them need to be too.”

Dr Raselle Miller

We’re committed to support the wellbeing of staff through the pandemic, and beyond. Help us to continue to be there for them.

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