Mental health and race toolkit launched by CMHA

Strategic actions for organisations

Adam Saville
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Mental health and race toolkit launched by CMHA

The City Mental Health Alliance (CMHA) has launched a mental health and race workplace toolkit

The toolkit, launched to help businesses protect and support positive mental health for those who are black or from a minority ethnic background, spells out strategic actions for organisations to take.

They include challenging all forms of racism in the workplace (aka anti-racism); building inclusive and representative mental health and wellbeing support; allocating board level responsibility and measuring progress.

The resource includes practical suggestions for achieving the strategic actions, as well as case study examples such as Lloyds Banking Group's Race Action Plan and PwC's representative mental health awareness campaign.

Poppy Jaman, CMHA CEO, said: "People who are black or from a minority ethnic background have been the most impacted by inequality and racism, often since childhood. And within the last year they have also been affected by triggering conversations following George Floyd's tragic death, and a disproportionate Covid-19 impact. It's unsurprising that a growing body of research tells us that these communities are living with a higher incidence of poor mental health.

"Over the last six months, we have seen an outpouring of support and commitment to action from the business world to address racial disparity. Our hope is that this toolkit will help organisations to build on this commitment, take action and better protect, support and create positive mental health of employees who are black or from a minority ethnic background. Let's seize the opportunity for compassionate dialogue and creating change for good. Thank you to CMHA members for once again showing leadership and contributing to this guidance."

Beth Robotham, executive director, Goldman Sachs, and deputy chair of CMHA said: "People might hesitate to explore race, ethnicity and mental health through fear of making a mistake or feeling intimidated by the scale of the work needed. But we cannot let this stand in our way. Much like the journey that many business leaders have been on together to talk more openly about our mental health, commitment and bravery is again needed to make progress through education, collaboration and action. This guide, which pools the insight and experience of the CMHA business community, will help all organisations on this journey."

Henrietta Jowitt, director general of the CBI on behalf of Change the Race Ratio campaign said: "The ambition of our Change The Race Ratio campaign is to accelerate racial diversity in business. This is not just a numbers game, but requires a shift in workplace culture.  It will only be possible to achieve true racial diversity if all workplaces are supportive, psychologically safe and promote a sense of belonging for people who are black and from minority ethnic backgrounds. This Mental Health and Race Toolkit from the CMHA will help workplaces to deliver on this culture shift, and we very much welcome its launch."

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