Picture shows Donna Sherratt standing in front of presentation screen
timbrudenellstraw May 23, 2024

Mental Health Integrated Care and Health Inequality Conference

Hosted by Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH), the Mental Health Integrated Care and Health Inequality Conference on Friday 17th May brought together health professionals from across Nottingham to discuss the state of mental health provision and practice in the city.

As part of the event, Head of Programme at Small Steps Big Changes (SSBC) Donna Sherratt was invited to speak in her capacity as PBP Race Health Inequality Ambassador. In her speech, she highlighted the link between race and health outcomes, with a particular focus on mental health. Many marginalised communities have unequal access to the knowledge and connections needed to help their mental health, and many services do not respond to the specific circumstances certain minoritised groups face.

A year on from it’s launch, she reflected on the success of the PBP Maturity Matrix tool and how it has helped organisations become more culturally competent. Through better representation, marginalised communities feel their needs are understood and listened to, meaning they are more likely to access services and get the help they need.

As well as Donna, the conference featured a range of amazing and inspirational talks from experts who shared their personal stories of mental health:

  • Imran Akkram, CEO of Bipolar Lift, told the audience his story of being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and how his frustration at the lack information available at the time led to the creation of Bipolar Lift.
  • Selina Khunkhuna from Talking Therapies spoke about her experience as a member of LGBTQIA+ community from a Sikh background and the mental health challenges this presented to her.
  • Carolyn Cleveland from CC Empathy Training told her incredibly moving story of grief and how it led to her realising the importance of empathy in health services and wider society.

There were also talks from Anthony May of Nottingham University Hospitals and Professor Derek Tracy from West London NHS Trust. They helped the audience develop a better understanding of the mental health picture in Nottingham and across the country respectively.    

Paintings by artist Andy Farr in a collaboration project with NUH to visualise the mental health

Throughout the day there were networking opportunities for people across the system to make new connections and establish new referral opportunities for their patients. Organisations in attendance included Al-Hurraya, NCVS, and Harmless to name just a few.

We would like to thank everybody who helped organise this great event, with a special mention to Shirley Tench (NUH Mental Health Practitioner) who first identified the need for such a conference and took an instrumental role in the organisation of the event.

The PBP Race Health Inequalities (RHI) and Mental Health programmes are currently working together to take forward the recommendations of the RHI report last year. As priority areas, the programmes will work together to:

  • Increase cultural competency across organisations who support people with mental health needs
  • Create community partnerships to increase knowledge and information exchange

We will be releasing further details on this project later this year. For more information you can contact PBP Deputy Locality Director Ciara Stuart on Ciara.staurt@nhs.net.