McPin’s response to the report from the UK Government’s Commission on Race & Ethnic Disparities

The McPin Foundation rejects the assertions made yesterday in relation to the race report from the UK Government Commission on Race & Ethnic Disparities. Based on the work we have done and the experience of the people we work with, we know there is institutional, systemic & structural racism in the UK.

The environmental factors given as reasons for the higher toll of Covid-19 on Black and other racialised communities are the result of systemic racism, and influenced by structural racism.

The report asserts that the mental health system does not have a problem with racism. It does. The whole sector knows institutional racism is a problem. Let’s not undo the work we’ve progressed in the last year having more honest and open conversations about race and mental health. This has to be just the starting point and pave the way for meaningful change.

McPin is a research organisation. We know that the way data are gathered, categorised and analysed is often inadequate and can be used to obscure the true situation. This is especially true for data related to race and ethnicity, as discussed in the #AntiRacistMHResearch webinar series.

At a societal level, Government driven systems change is needed to make the UK more equitable. If the Government wants to build trust between different communities it must address the problems that people of colour tell us about everyday. Problems people experience as unjust and discriminatory.

Finally, we believe that the Commission’s interpretation and framing of the data is related to its lack of generational diversity. It is so important to include a range of voices with the power to influence, including young people, if the findings are to be meaningful and relevant to our society.