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Government responds to questions raised over Taser and black Britain

10 February 2017

House_of_Commons._4jpgA series of questions have been raised in parliament on behalf of Black Mental Health UK over Home Office plans to roll out the new more powerful Taser X2 stun guns. Tabled by Lord Herman Ouseley they come amid concerns by the human rights campaigns group over the impact that this new weapon will have on black people from the UK's African Caribbean communities, particularly the most vulnerable from this group who are forced to use mental health services.

 

Powerful next-gen Taser guns sparks fears over misuse against black Britain

14 December 2016

TASER_X2_Defender__2016Home Secretary Amber Rudd's decision to green light the next generation of Taser guns is a retrograde step, which may well prove to be a matter of life and death for black Britons. These well founded fears have been sparked in the wake of data showing that those known to have a mental health condition are four times more likely to die after police use force against them, and that black people of African descent are three times more likely to be subject to this firearm than their white counterparts.

 

Time to close down locked wards? Risks of suicide and absconding not reduced in locked wards

05 December 2016

Lancet_Psychaitry_info_graphic._526_x_272_jpgConfirming what has been known across Britain's black communities for many years now, that coercion and detention is nether therapeutic or aids recovery, a 15 year observational study published in the Lancet Psychiatry that has seen little mainstream media attention shows that there is very little or any evidence to show locked wards prevent people committing suicide or absconding, rather an open-door policy may foster a better therapeutic atmosphere and thus promote better health outcomes.

 

Taser death of man in need of mental health care reinforces community consensus that policing has no place in mental health care

01 November 2016

Police_officers_by_carThe tragic Taser related death of yet another vulnerable man, that IPCC reports show that police also restrained after they shot him with their stunn guns, has reinforced the consensus among Britons black communities that policing has no place when dealing with those in need of mental health care, in light of the lethal levels of force that those in crisis may be subject to.

 

Institutional racism in mental health services highlighted in David Bennett inquiry report featured in Inner Temple Library Black History Month project

13 October 2016

Inner_Temple_BHM_David_Bennett_BMH_UK_coverage_pageInner Temple Library has included BMH UK's coverage of the high profile David Bennett Inquiry report, which put a national spotlight on the institutional racism suffered by black people that come in contact with statutory mental health services in their Black British History and the Law project for Black History Month 2016.

 

Diabetes, mental health and over-medication: don't overlook the link

08 February 2017

mental_health_butt4With the racial bias in diagnosis continuing to drive the disproportionately high incidence rate of labelling black people from the UK's African Caribbean communities with schizophrenia, community campaigners say that new data showing that people who are given this diagnosis are at an increased risk of developing diabetes have failed to factor this into their research. Human rights experts point to the need for this sector to acknowledge that the raft of physical illnesses and reduced life expectancy of up to 30 years of people detained in this system is due to environmental factors such as the over medication and punitive 'care' that black patients, more than any other group, are subject to.

 

Ban Taser firearms against detained mental health patients petition' launched - ban#taser

06 December 2016

BMH_UK__bantaser_Campaign_Change.org_Human rights campaigns group Black Mental Health UK (BMH UK) have launched a new Change.org petition as part of their drive to secure an outright ban on the illicit use of Taser firearms against patients detained in locked psychiatric wards. The unethical deployment of these stun guns in hospital settings will be among the issues discussed during report stage on the Policing and Crime Bill that will take place in the House of Lords this again this week.

 

Premier league footballer Dalian Atkinson, killed by police Taser, to be laid to rest this weekend

18 November 2016

Dalian_Atkinson_1The funeral of premier league footballer Dalian Atkinson will be held this Saturday 19th November. He died after police kicked and tasered him six times after responding to calls of a disturbance at his parents' home. The athlete had been battling kidney problems and was in deep emotional distress at the time. His death has reinforced fears across black Britain over how the most vulnerable and those who have mental health needs from this community are treated by the police.

 

House of Lords to debate BMH UK's demand for Taser ban on psychiatric wards

31 October 2016

BMH_UK_Campaign_-_Ban_Taser_in_psychiatric_hospitals_1-11-16An amendment in support of human rights campaigns group Back Mental Health UK's (BMH UK) demand for an outright ban on the unethical use of Taser firearms against patients detained on locked psychiatric wards, will be among the issues debated in Day 3 of committee stage of the Policing and Crime Bill in the House of Lords on Wednesday 2nd November 2016.

 

WMHD psychological first aid welcomed by community who say, a focus on state injustices against black patients is also needed

10 October 2016

WHOWith black people from the UK's African Caribbean communities who are subject to detention under the Mental Heath Act very rarely being offered anything other than the medical model of care, where they are subject to highly coercive treatment which all too often involves unnecessarily & unwanted contact with the police, this year's theme for World Mental Health Day of psychological first aid is welcome. BMH UK point to the need for the levels of state violence, particularly the use of Taser firearms against patients to be among the issues that also need to be addressed on this day.

 

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