"If only we were told..." a project to create a level 2 syllabus to improve BME access to appropriate mental health services














"Talk to Us" Project members Ashok Patel (Ashraya Community Initiative), David George (Servol Community Trust), Aiysha Aliyu (COPE Black Mental Health Foundation), John Tyrrell (Sikh Community & Youth Service UK) and Dorothy Vuong (Vietnamese Development Centre) at the Mind Fair, Birmingham, October 2007 for World Mental Health Day.


"If only we were told..." is a 3 year project, funded by the LankellyChase Foundation, starting in 2011. It is to develop a level 2 qualification in improving Black and Minority Ethnic access to appropriate mental health services ensuring "cultural competence" from providers following recommendations in the report on the David Bennett enquiry, 2003 (see Report on training to inprove BME access to appropriate Mental Health Services).

The earlier "Talk to Us" Project was funded by Capacity Builders as a Change-Up Project. It covered the West Midlands Region and aimed at supporting community-based organisations to build their capacity to bid for commissioning for advocacy, counselling and advice services relating to current mental health legislation. In Birmingham support from the Commissioner for Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCA) led to 8 people from community-based organisations being accepted for training as IMCA. The Sikh Community and Youth Service, UK, who applied for the funding, hosted a well attended Conference at Aston Villa in June, 2007.

In North West Birmingham various organisations were involved in the "Talk to Us" Project so that aimed at developing skills in providing talking therapies, advocacy and advice services which are culturally sensitive in a range of languages: Afro-Caribbean Millennium Centre, Age Concern (Perry Barr), Ashraya Community Initiative, Asian Rationalist Society (Britain), Aston Vision, Cannon Street Memorial Baptist Church, COPE Black Mental Health Foundation, Mashriq (Women), Nishkam Centre, Servol Community Trust, Sikh Community and Youth Service UK, UK Asian Women's Centre, Vietnamese Development Centre, and the Women's Help Centre. Other organisations based outside but serving the area: Birmingham Citizen Advocacy, Chinese Community Centre and Trident Housing Association (Care and Support).

Website: http://e-voice.org.uk/communitymentalhealth/


Contact Information

Small Map

"Talk to Us" Project,
Community Mental Health Support Services (CMHSS),
c/o Sikh Community and Youth Service UK,
75 Holyhead Road
West Midlands
B21 9RL


0121 523 0147