Race Equality and Whiteness Network 2016 – 2018 progress report

Whiteness and Race Equality Network

Race Equality and Whiteness Network 2016 - 2018 progress report

Promoting mental health across the colour line

The following summary outlines the channels through which we have worked to achieve our aims from the launch of the Network in 2016 through to the end of 2018.

Watch this space for further updates in 2019!

Work and Achievements in 2016

Design and delivery of a three hour workshop for Approved Mental Health Practitioners at Leeds Beckett University -   (Colin King)


  • To assist AMPTs in developing their awareness and understanding of how co-production can operate in their practice.
  • To examine the power and influence of whiteness as the lived experiences in the front and back stages in the mental health assessment.
  • To develop a collaborative model of assessment that considers the relationship diagnostically and in terms of service delivery for coproduction in relation to whiteness and race equality.

First draft completed of Colin’s Book – “They diagnosed me a Schizophrenic, when I was just a Gemini”.


  • To look at the personal journeys made by survivors, practitioners, researchers and writers to assess and examine issues of race and racialization in the philosophical and psychiatric approaches in mental health work.
  • To analyse patterns and processes of race within other related structures, and the changes needed in order to work across the colour line in mental health work.

Related Resources:  

  • Chapter One from “Reconceiving Schizophrenia” OUP 2006
  • Mental Health Culture and Race, (2009, Mental Health Foundation).

October 5th 2016 Inaugural Conference held at Saint Catherine’s College Oxford: Co-production- Whiteness, mental health and diagnosis


  • To explore and understand whiteness in the context of race and mental health.
  • To encourage survivors, practitioners, academics and policy makers to reflect on the contributions the theory of whiteness can make to understanding issues of race in mental health.
  • To examine how whiteness can more effectively be used to discuss the limitations of current diagnostic frameworks.
  • To examine the challenges for coproduction for mental health practices from assessment to intervention in terms of developing a collaborative approach across the colour line

 Resources: power point presentations available

A detailed on-line survey examining multi-agency and survivor perceptions of race and mental health.

  • Examination of the ontological, epistemological, theoretical and methodology challenges for race and racialization in mental health research.

Resources: on-line Report (Colin King et al.)

Work and Achievements in 2017

Second design and delivery of three hour workshop for 90 Approved Mental Health Practitioners at Leeds Beckett University – (Colin)

Aims and outcomes

  • To build on the first training by focusing on the specific challenges in relation to assessing BAME communities within codes of whiteness with a focus on Sections 2, 3, 136 and 17a of the Mental Health Act.
  • To profile and analyse concerns raised in order to inform future training. In addition a joint paper to be written: a good practice guide on race equality and whiteness in the delivery of mental health assessments.
  • To devise, from the feedback given, training needs approach for year three.

Second draft completed of  “They diagnosed me a Schizophrenic, when I was just a Gemini”.

Aims and outcomes.

  • To edit and offer a clear communication system for audiences across the colour and professional lines.
  • To demonstrate the processes and possibility for coproduction from the lived experiences of the writers from across the colour lines as a model of collaborative writing.
  • To submit a draft for publication.

Resources:  Draft chapter six highlights coproduction and whiteness.                                     

St George’s, University of London research into Mental Health Services in Sutton (Colin and Steve)

Aims and outcomes.

  • Demonstrate themes of empowerment: acknowledging the voices of survivors and their perspective on the research process and the learning objectives pertaining to race and equality within the research process.
  • Draft paper revealing the range of ontological and epistemological mental health survivor challenges in the areas of research design, data collection and analysis of data.
  • To cross-reference the core value changes needed with the methodological process to represent the role and position of black researchers.

Resources: The corresponding paper on “The politics of race and joint professional and survivor research”.

Second Conference at Saint Catherine’s College, Oxford – “Is my diagnosis r/white”  Wednesday October 25th2017


To examine the power and relevance of whiteness as a lived experience in terms of values, actions and behaviours for mental health survivors, practitioners and researchers across the colour line working together to improve coproduction in diagnosis, research and race.

  • Detailed focus on whiteness as a lived experience
  • Examination of the challenges, both methodologically and structural to influence whiteness in research and diagnosis.
  • Production of a detailed 10 point challenge for changes in whiteness to ensure race equality in mental health research and diagnosis.

Resources See Steve Gillard’s model “Whiteness and research”, power point presentations and feedback from the day

Associated Link: “Injured” addressing the Mental Health Support needs of professional footballers

Aims and outcomes.

Colin worked with Michael Bennett Head of Player  Welfare at the Professional Footballers Association  to coordinate a conference called “Injured” addressing the Mental Health Support needs of professional footballers

  • Detailed survey into the mental health in professional football.
  • First global inter-agency sports conference examining issues of equality in mental health work.
  • Foundations of a unique PhD study

Resources: ‘Injured’ conference material including 3 power point and visual summary of the day available.

Work and Achievements in 2018

Design and Delivery of third race and mental health workshop for APMH Practitioners at Leeds Beckett University

Aims and outcomes.

  • Detailed training in terms of the potential outcomes for BAME communities in relation to the current review of the mental health act.
  • To understand the role and influence of whiteness and front line assessors in a new collaborative approach to address the over-representation of BAME communities in relation to section 17a.

Resources. –Power point available

Third draft completed of book, “They diagnosed me a schizophrenic when I was just a Gemini”

Aims and outcomes.

  • Detailed reflective model of race and whiteness as a lived experience in contributions to the book written by Simon, Bill and Steve.
  • Examination and analysis of over 12 years of how race changes towards a collaborative exchange to reproduce historical images to influence future coproduction.

Resource  – Chapters seven and eight of book

Third Oxford and St George’s University Research “Is the mental health a performance or construction of race scientific construction” 4th June 2018 at St George’s  


  • Following on from two previous conferences to examine how whiteness and race equality into research into diagnosis and practice can lead to a coproduction that can effectively challenge the definition of ‘mental disorder ‘in terms of the current review of the 1983/2007 Mental Health Act.
  • The focus: how survivors, practitioners and researchers across the colour line can produce a definition that addresses equality in the mental health legislation in the areas of access, detention, and discharge from a new perspective to coproduction.


  • Detailed review of Section 136, 2, 3 and 17a and a new definition of “Mental Disorder”
  • Examination of developing a black research model to mental health act particularly in relation to misdiagnosis.
  • 10 point challenges for research and coproduction in relation to whiteness and coproduction

Resources: Presentations from Black Thrive Lambeth, Mind, and Dr King Power points Conference report and summary by Steve available.

Brief outline of other work undertaken by Colin

  • Meeting with Black Thrive to devise a training value based approach to whiteness and equality in research for Sheffield University Group, Black Thrive Sub-groups and Evaluative committee.

  • Participation and contribution to NSUM review of the Mental Health Act.

  • Presentation on issues of whiteness and race equality to National Recovery Conference at Bern’s Switzerland – Resource on line power point of presentation.

  • Participation and contribution to Mind review of the 1983/2007 cross-referenced to the third Conference.

  • Invitation to write chapters on Hearing Voices and Madness and mental health books.

In addition Simon and Colin attended the 2nd PFA conference on Mental Health (October 2018) which featured analysis of data and the development of a case management approach to sport and mental health.

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