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Statutory mental health services in the UK do not meet the needs of people from ethnic minority groups
  1. Manuela Barreto
  1. Department of Psychology, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Manuela Barreto, Department of Psychology, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX44QG, UK; M.Barreto{at}

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Commentary on: Bansal N, Karlsen S, Sashidharan SP, Cohen R, Chew-Graham CA, Malpass A. Understanding ethnic inequalities in mental healthcare in the UK: A meta-ethnography. PLoS Med. 2022 Dec 13;1912:e1004139. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1004139.

Implications for practice and research

  • Mental health service providers need to listen to the voices of ethnic minorities to offer services that align with their needs and experiences and reduce mental health disparities.

  • Research should evaluate the effectiveness of alternative approaches to, and co-production of, biomedical mental healthcare for specific ethnic minority groups.


Mental health disparities are well documented in the UK, despite free access to healthcare. Individuals from minoritised ethnic groups are more likely than white British individuals to: suffer from undiagnosed and untreated mental illness; access healthcare via crisis pathways (and less likely to access via primary care); and receive a diagnosis of severe mental illness. This is costly for the individual (who suffers for longer, incurring …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.