The black and minority ethics rarely access mental health services in the United
Kingdom, more so in London. This mostly includes those aged between the ages of 18 to 26.
This is a worrying trend bearing in mind that mental illness is gradually affecting people of this
specific age as a result of many factors and its consequences if untreated may be very
unbearable. There was, therefore, a need to undertake a thorough research on the topic so as to
explore on the barriers that hinder the 18 to 26-year-old persons from the BME group from
accessing the mental health services in London.
The research proposal will first give a background of the topic of study and a rationale
from relevant academic sources to dig deep into the issue of BME young adults and their
frequency of accessing mental health services in London. This will be followed by identification
of the aims and objectives of eth study. This will be followed by an in-depth research
methodology where ways of getting information from relevant sources will be discussed. Ethical
and bias issues will also get discussed with regards to both the respondents and the research. A
scheduled time table will consequently follow, where the progress of the study will be
highlighted. Finally, there will be a reflection section, where the journey of the research proposal
will be discussed.
According to (Foley & Dadzie, 2017) , a number of youths from the BME background fail
to go for constant mental health services, which is very crucial for their wellbeing. This is a
proof that people require more mental health literacy and also practical support where they
BME RESEARCH PROPOSAL 5
would be able to be conversant with the need for being aware of their mental health conditions
and also to be able to combat stigma (Hackett, 2018) . This is the role of the government to
ensure that it improves on information about services and also access pathways. By ensuring that
BME youths are able to access quality mental health services, then progress will be made in
ensuring that they are safe and secure from future cases of mental illnesses (Keating & Brown,
Many youths between the age of 18 to 26 from the black and minority group, more so in
London, suffer from challenges that are associated with mental health. These challenges affect
the quality life of these individuals and also adversely affect their ability to play an active role in
their societies (Lwembe, Green, Chigwende, Ojwang, & Dennis, 2017) . The youths with mental
challenges are not also able to contribute both to their local and wider economies. This issue is
very particular with youths based in London, more so from the black and minority ethnic
communities. There is however lack of reliable data on mental health that makes it very virtually
impossible for persons providing with mental health services to be able to assess the scale of
demand for the services in London and also to be able to direct the resources appropriately
(Lwembe, Green, Chigwende, Ojwang, & Dennis, 2017) .
People of either African or Caribbean descent in London, who are the largest minority group,
have an over-representation at each level in the psychiatric process. Comparing them to other
groups, they also have a high likelihood of being treated as inpatients and also as a sectioned
patient (Slade, et al., 2014) . While this minority community is at about 26% of the local London
population, they are the persons who occupy 70% of persons who have been detained in the
BME RESEARCH PROPOSAL 6
psychiatric settings (Hilton, 2015) . According to statistics, black men are also 17 times more
likely to get diagnosed with serious mental health illness than their white counterparts in
London. The majority of them often visit these psychiatric settings when it is too late and when
their mental conditions have advanced to worse stages when it is a time of crisis or breakdown
(Jolley, et al., 2015) . These are worrying statistics.
To explore the effects of a failure by the persons aged 18- 26 group from accessing mental
health services in London.
i. To explore the prevalence of the mental problems among 18-26-year-old persons
from the Black and minority ethnic groups in London
ii. To examine the repercussions of barriers which prevent these persons from accessing
the mental health services
iii. To find out the effects of government interventions and the initiatives it undertakes to
tackle these barriers which prevent this particular group from accessing mental health
What are the perceived barriers preventing the young adult from age 18 to 26 from BME group
from accessing mental health service in London?
BME RESEARCH PROPOSAL 7
According to the World Health Organization, mental health can be described as a state of
well-being in which a person realizes his/her own potential, can easily cope with the normal life
stresses, make a contribution to the community and also work productively. On the other WHO
defines mental ill health as a variety of clinical disorders and illnesses. The causes of mental ill
health are not always very clear or comprehensible, neither are they always accurately described
by a preexisting diagnostic label (Reynolds, Desai, Zhou, Fornells‐Ambrojo, & Garden, 2017) .
At any given time, these black and people of minority groups in London have estimated
to a have suffered mental health problems. These problems have had adverse consequences. The
consequences include lack of happiness, poor physical health amongst many other personal
issues (Robotham, Satkunanathan, Doughty, & Wykes, 2016) . They have also been unable to
work, study, develop and also maintain relationships with others effectively. According to
Jolley, et al., (2015), mental illness on these youths also has an economic impact to not only the
individuals but also their families. As a result, according to Hackett,( 2018) over 26billion euros
is lost from the London’s economy. This is a huge number of losses as compared to other
destinations in the country. A number of factors that could get blamed for persons getting the
mental illness challenges include lack of good housing, unemployment, education amongst many
other factors that have made more youths from the black and minority community, get
depression and other mental issues that lead to severe cases of their mental illnesses (Lwembe,
Green, Chigwende, Ojwang, & Dennis, 2017) .
Some of the common mental disorder that affects the youths in London include anxiety-
related disorders, conduct disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is however
quite difficult to measure how the situation has changed over time, but the mental health
BME RESEARCH PROPOSAL 8
specialists support for these youths has been on the rise and in demand in the recent years
(Broyd, Jolley, & Johns, 2016) .
According to Hackett, (2018), the number of youths who attempted to commit suicide
was at 33%, self-harm issues were at 41% and online bullying was at 87%. These are issues that
could greatly get associated with issues of mental illnesses amongst the youths. However, these
numbers were mostly found within persons who are from the black and minority groups (Singh,
et al., 2014) . This means that there has been a low access to mental services, leading to
deterioration of their state. As much as poverty could be blamed for this, there are also other
factors that could have contributed to the low turnout for mental health services. There are other
factors that could be leading to the very few numbers of people willing to access mental health
services, despite the high population of persons with these issues (Keating & Brown, 2016) .
A high number of BME youths also get to the psychiatric settings only through courts or
police, rather the normal GP referral. This is a clear indication that they tend to remain longer in
the system and consequently have poorer outcomes. A research carried out in 2010, by the care
Quality commissioned, established that African and Caribbean people in London and probably
entire England have 40 % of chances of only accessing mental health services through a criminal
justice system pathway (Jolley, et al., 2015) .
It is evident that there are therefore several factors that are barriers for these youths from
accessing mental health services. One of the leading factor affecting the BME groups is their low
socioeconomic status. This means that they could fail to afford to pay for insurance and
consequently may fail to meet the requirements for acquiring these crucial services
(TommyDickinson, Walker, LaurenWalker, & Bradley, 2018) . A number of them result in
BME RESEARCH PROPOSAL 9
crime, leading to arrests, where after court hearings and police visits, their mental instability is
detected and consequently receive these kinds of services (Perry, Gardener, Dove, Eiger, &
Loewenthal, 2018) .
According to the WHO’s objectives of Health for all by the year 2010, the report is of the
opinion that there is a need for the BME communities to have equal health access, regardless of
their economic and social standings in their communities. This is because this is a fundamental
human right. A majority of the persons from BME communities also less often recognize the
need for mental health care, as compared to the white population (Smith, 2016) .
Another leading a factor that could be barring this specific groups from accessing mental
health illness is the lack of enough awareness and knowledge by a majority of them. This leads
to them being ignorant of taking regular visits to the mental health clinics to have regular
checkups which could be necessary for their health (Reynolds, Desai, Zhou, Fornells‐Ambrojo,
& Garden, 2017) . There may also be generational differences in the BME families which lead to
conflicts between the more traditional older people and the young family members, where the
parents do not see the need for having their kids go for regular checks on their mental health,
leading to hindrance of service provision. According to Hackett, (2018) , there is also evidence
that people from the BME groups in the UK, more so in London, access dementia services way
later than the people from the rest of the majority population.
There is also the issue of Hierarchies and caste systems in some BME communities,
which also might be the leading cause of impediment in the therapeutic relationship. An
example is the issue of the South Asian community in London which is socially and culturally
fragmented. This means that persons have a difference in education, culture and may not be of a
BME RESEARCH PROPOSAL 10
positive view towards the issue of having mental illness checkup, which may be a taboo in their
society. This leads to very few people from these communities having the willingness and
courage of going for mental illness checkup (Whalen, Harrold, Child, Halford, & Boyland,
From the past research undertaken on the issue of BME groups and their access to mental
health services, there is a need for a more in-depth research on the issue. The research will look
into the prevalence and incidences of mental ill health amongst the ethnic minority groups. It will
also dwell one establishing the leading causes of the of the failure of the youths from accessing
these services, more so in London. This will entail an in-depth data collection and data analysis.
5. Research Methodology
For this chapter, the methods of undertaking the research are critically discussed and
analyzed. It will entail the methods of data collection, sampling analysis of the data, ethical
considerations and the limitations of the research. The target audience for the study will entail
persons with information regarding mental illness, patients from the BME community,
government officials and any other stakeholders who are conversant with the subject matter.
From the findings of the study, the most relevant recommendations and conclusions will be
5.2 Research Methods
BME RESEARCH PROPOSAL 11
In order to satisfy the aims and objectives of the research, qualitative research will be applied.
This is because this is the most appropriate method which would ensure that accurate data
regarding the study is undertaken. The research will also entail qualitative review. It also ensures
that there are different choices of various techniques. Interviews and online surveys will be
conducted for the study, where the interviews will be both structured and semi-structured.
Qualitative research has major advantages. Some of which include the fact that interviews are
not limited to particular questions and consequently could get redirected in real time. The issues
and subject in the qualitative study can be evaluated in depth and detail (Kumar & Promma,
2005) . Qualitative research will also offer a way clearer vision of what is to be expected in the
course of the study. Collection of data in qualitative research will also entail only a few
particular individuals and cases. This will ensure that the findings and outcome do not spread to
broader populations hence ensuring quality data collected.
5.3 Data collection method and tools
For the data collection, interviews and online surveys will be conducted so as to determine the
factors that limit the 18-26 years old from the BME community and also establish the leading
causes for deteriorating mental health. This data collection will take place in London. The
interviews will be one on one. For persons who will not be available offline, then they will take
part in an online survey. This will entail the use of their email addresses, which are the most
effective tools for use. Appropriate questions with regards to the subject matter will get applied.
Views, opinions, and recommendations of the interviews and surveys will be recorded to get
used for the conclusion of the study. For participation in the interview, the respondents will have
the freedom of pulling it at will with no coercion or getting compelled to answer the questions.
BME RESEARCH PROPOSAL 12
Their privacy and identity will also get used. The respondents will also have the freedom of
expressing themselves and also air their opinions freely. Their suggestions and the
recommendations will be appropriate in assisting to achieve the set aims and objectives of the
research (Neuman, 2014) .
To complement the primary data, secondary research will be incorporated. This will
involve use in past reports, publications, journals, magazines and proceedings’ reports. There
will also be past research in books on the mental illness topic for the youths between the age of
18-26 from the BME groups in London. These publications will be crucial in that they will
provide more information and add up to the collected data from interviews to assist in effectively
coming up with best conclusions and recommendations for the research (Yin, 2009) .
The conduction of interviews will entail 26 adults, both male and female aged above 18
years. A majority of the participants will be identified through the registers of the Black and
Minority Ethnic communities in partnership center in London. The criteria for choosing the
participants will entail identifying those who are conversant with the subject matter and persons
who are likely to assist in developing best recommendations into the issue of mental illness
amongst the youths from the BME community in London (Neuman, 2014) .
5.5 Data analysis
After the data is collected there will be a need to conduct a thorough analysis. A thematic
analysis will be conducted with an aim of identifying the significant themes which are commonly
emerged in regards to the perceived barriers to access the mental health services. Use of
BME RESEARCH PROPOSAL 13
graphical and pictorial representation will also be applied as a way of analyzing the collected
data (Kumar & Promma, 2005) .
5.6 Ethical considerations
Ethical considerations are a very significant aspect of every study. This is because they
ensure that standards and norms of the study are well in place. Moral standards in any given
study ensure that data is not fabricated or falsified. This allows for promotion of pursuit of the
truth and the knowledge, which are primary goals and objectives of the undertaken study.
Ethics will also be vital in making sure that there are collaborative efforts in the course of the
study so as to build up trust in the environment of the research, mutual respect and also
responsibility and accountability.
Some of the ethical; issues to be considered include confidentiality, voluntarism and
respect to any respondent (Yin, 2009) . All participants will get assured of their privacy, where
none of them will in any way get coerced into revealing information or airing their opinions and
views. All participants will also be provided with the appropriate guidelines for issues such as
health standards, safety, human rights and any other ethical factors. Through handling of the
moral issues, the research will have observed all the integrity issues and lead to the attainment of
the set aims and objectives of the research. Other codes of conduct will also be observed. This
includes transparency, honesty, intelligence, confidentiality, social responsibility and non-
discrimination (Neuman, 2014) .
As a result of the sensitivity that surrounds the issue of mental illness and wellbeing, the
privacy and confidentiality of the respondent which includes name, address and any other
relevant information will be protected and only specific authorization for the information will be
BME RESEARCH PROPOSAL 14
obtained from the participants. This is so as to ensure that the respondents are not at risk of
getting stigmatized. It will also assist to ensure that the vulnerable groups are protected. In
regards to bias, any data received from secondary sources or persons who are likely to be
partisan will get more scrutiny so as to avoid bias. In case of any bias within the collected data,
there will be an acknowledgement of this partiality.
6. Research time table
Dates Action Result
1 st – 5 th April Understanding Mental illness in
London amongst the BME
5 th – 10 th April Understanding factors that deter the
youths from accessing mental health
10 th April- 15 th
Analyzing of issues related to access
of mental health for young adults
among the BME groups
A Write up of
the aims and
15 th – 30 th April Going through the literature review Secondary
1 st -30 th May Research Methodology and ethical Notes
BME RESEARCH PROPOSAL 15
1 st -14 th June Data analysis Notes
15 th June- 21 st
Conclusion of the study Notes
22 nd – 30 th June Reflection Notes
I will use the Gibbs reflective model to reflect on my experience in undertaking the
research proposal (Gould & Taylor, 2017) . From the proposal, it is evident that mental illness is
a sensitive topic that needs a careful approach especially in data collection. However, In the
course of writing the research proposal, I had a smooth flow, where it was relatively easier to
identify the boost appropriate methods of use and also establish the best participants. There were
limitations since this is a very sensitive topic, where care needs to be undertaken so as to ensure
that no person will be adversely affected by the study. From the literature review, I learned that
there are visible gaps in the study, where the research will be in place to answer these questions
and ensure that the goals and objectives set are met. In the future of a research proposal, I will
ensure that more points regarding the subject matter are included, to make it more effective
(Gould & Taylor, 2017) . In cases of encountering this kind of research in the future, I will ensure
to use the same strategies, but make sure that I give more emphasis on the literature review and
BME RESEARCH PROPOSAL 16
the rational for the study. This is so as to have a stronger background in the topic, so as to
conduct relatively better studies in the future.
BME RESEARCH PROPOSAL 17
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