BMH UK’s director, keynote speaker at African British civil rights in regards to deaths in custody event

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Black Mental Health UK's director Matilda MacAttram will be the keynote speaker a Harrow Black History Month event entitled Challenging Narratives Of Deaths In Custody on Tuesday 26th November, 6.30-8.30pm at the Council Chamber, Harrow Civic Centre, Civic 1, Station Road, Harrow, Middx HA1 2XY.

Organised by Harrow Black History Month (BHM) group this talk is part of a series of public events which run up until December, based on the theme of 'African British Civil Rights Since The 1960s' looking at African civil rights histories in the UK.

Focusing on the issue of black deaths in custody, MacAttram's talk will chart the history of some of the most significant cases of those who have had contact or were in the care of mental health services over the past four decades and what lessons can be learnt from these tragedies.

The lethal treatment that has been meted out to some of the most vulnerable people from the UK's African Caribbean communities is a core focus of the work of BMH UK, this talk organised by Harrow BHM group, comes as Black Mental Health UK has just launched a national campaign against black deaths in custody.

This new campaign is part or the human rights campaigns group work to bring an end to the high levels of force and punitive treatment that people from the UK's African Caribbean communities are often subject to when they come in to contact with mental health services.

Delegates attending this event will also find out how they can support this campaign.

Matilda MacAttram director of Black Mental Health UK said: 'I welcome the work of the Harrow Black History Month Group, and the focus they have placed on African British Civil Right and the achievements and challenges that have been faced by this community since the 1960's.

This event presents an opportunity to learn about some of the most significant and historic successes that have been made by people who had the courage and commitment to stand up and speak out against injustices regardless of the challenges that they faced. It also provides a forum for people to find out what the most pressing concerns are at the moment and how every individual can play their part in speaking against injustices, particularly when in comes to deaths in custody.'

Click here to register for this event


Click here to sign BMH UK's campaign against black deaths in custody



For interviews call BMH UK news desk on M: 07947 189 682

Notes to the editor

- Harrow BHM Group is a community-led steering group which oversees delivery of the African/Black History Month/Season events with funding from and on behalf of Harrow Council, and with input from the Harrow BHM Forum and community organisations. For more information: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

- Black Mental Health UK is a human rights campaigns group established to address the over representation of African Caribbean's within secure psychiatric care and raise awareness to address the stigma associated with mental health.

- Almost half the deaths of people in police custody are mental health service users.

- Deaths of those detained under the Mental Health Act account for 60% of all deaths in state custody

- A disproportionate number of deaths following contact with the police since 2004 are of black people.

- People from the UK's African Caribbean communities are over represented among those who lose their lives while in police custody or when detained under the Mental Health Act.

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