On 3rd April 2014 Lord Hunt of Kings Heath asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘what action they are taking to ensure that NHS England funds mental health in line with the requirement for parity of esteem’. The Bishop of St Albans asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: Given the significant disparity in mental health diagnosis, treatment and outcomes between minority ethnic groups and the general population, what steps are being taken not only to uphold parity of esteem between mental and physical health but to reflect that in the provision of accessible and effective mental health services for all people?
Earl Howe: The right reverend Prelate raises an important dimension of this whole issue. We have been looking at ways to overcome inequalities in access to services, which includes better access for black and minority ethnic communities to mental health services. For example, we know that people from BME communities have been less likely to use psychological therapies. To tackle that, the department is working with the Race Equality Foundation and other stakeholders to understand why that is so and to understand inequalities around access to other mental health services and what can be done to improve that. NHS England is also working with BME community leaders to encourage more people to use psychological therapies.