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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

CR156. Psychiatric Services for Black and Minority Ethnic Older People

Price: £10.00

Approved: Jan 2009

Published: Aug 2009

Status: current

Number of pages: 36

Review by: 2013

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This document looks at the mental health needs of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) older people and the psychiatric services offered to this group, focussing on the main changes that have occurred since the original college report (CR103) published in 2001.


The main areas covered include:

  • Definition of BME older people.
  • Demographic changes.
  • Review of influential publications and policy pertaining to the mental health of BME groups in general and those specifically relevant to BME older people.
  • Research involving psychiatric aspects of BME older people.
  • Current examples of good practice.
  • Revision of recommendations as a result of this review.

The progress of developing and improving services for BME older people with mental health problems in actual practice has been slow with only a few examples of good practice since the recommendations made in CR103 in 2001. Thus the original recommendations of CR103 are retained and five additional recommendations are made.


Professor Ajit Shah and Dr Simon Adelman, the authors of the report, said, “With a growing BME elderly population, the time is now right to build on previous work to further develop culturally appropriate and sensitive mental health services for older people from BME groups.”

This report replaces CR103. Psychiatric services for Black and minority ethnic elders from 2001.




Executive summary and recommendations


1. Definition of Black and minority ethnic older people

2. Demographic changes

3. Review of influential publications and policies

4. Research relevant to mental health needs of Black and minority ethnic older people

5. Current examples of good practice

6. Revision of recommendations



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