St Andrew’s is a charity which provides specialist mental healthcare for people with complicated mental health needs.
We celebrate the diversity of our workforce and our patients, and value the enrichment that a diverse workforce brings to our patients’ care. We promote inclusion and equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment, irrespective of disability, gender, race, religion or belief, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status.
We are a Business in the Community (BITC) Race Champion, and in 2017 we were awarded Gold status – demonstrating our commitment to improving employment opportunities for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff across the Charity.
We are proud of the progress we have made and are dedicated to continually developing our approach and practice. We asked a colleague from the BAME community to share their experience of working for St Andrew’s.
Karen Graves is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Practice within our Academic Department, and by background a Registered Mental Health Nurse.
As a lecturer she “supports all students and staff equally, offering them all the same opportunities to learn and development themselves, sign posting opportunities available to regardless of their cultural background or race.”
Her experience at St Andrew’s has been “one of inclusion, and I have had equal opportunities to grow and develop myself.”
The BITC Mental Health at Work Report 2017 recently shared that BAME employees are equally likely to have experienced the symptoms of poor mental health as white employees, however BAME employees with a mental health condition are significantly less likely than white employees to consult a GP (20%, compared to 29%).
As a member of this community, Karen’s advice would be that “we need to be mindful that each culture identifies with mental health differently and can have contrasting views to how this should be treated. We need to respect this and be sensitive to cultural and racial beliefs when caring for our patients.”
As the Windrush Anniversary approaches, Karen feels “it’s important to remember the openness with which the British Colonies responded to the UK’s labour shortage and helped establish great institutions such as the NHS.” This openness has contributed to the heart of society we are all part of today. She hopes that communities continue to embrace inclusion and remain open to diversity.