Advice line: diversity and mental health

Jess Belmonte discusses a recent CSP event on diversity and mental health.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock it won’t have escaped your notice that mental health has been in the news recently: the ‘Heads Together’ campaign was the 2017 London Marathon charity of the year and Mental Health Awareness Week ran from 8-14 May, for example. The Chartered Physiotherapists in Mental Health (CPMH) professional network aims to raise awareness about the role of physiotherapy in mental health. The network co-hosted a study day with the CSP diversity networks last month.
The meeting, titled Mental health in a diverse workplace, was well attended and looked at a wide range of topics relating to mental health and diversity. Joseph Korge, from CPMH, gave an overview of mental health conditions, treatments and considerations relating to physiotherapy management. Another speaker was Myless Mwanza, convenor of the CSP black and minority ethnic (BME) members’ network. She said some mental health conditions seemed more prevalent in certain communities and looked at the impact of culture on diagnosis and access to treatment.
Sophia Dixon, an NHS worker and transgender activist, shared her journey with the networks. She described how she had tried to take her own life after her feelings of gender dysphoria were repeatedly dismissed by her GP, with her treatment delayed by more than a year as a result.  
As well as listening to speakers, the participants took part in workshops that looked at breaking down stigma and promoting good mental health in the workplace. Delegates debated common myths about mental health and identified resources. Supportive managers, good health and wellbeing policies and the CSP steward and safety rep were seen as key resources to support members.
This day was only the beginning of a conversation. Evaluation and feedback from delegates will be used to develop further resources on mental health, but we need more members involved. The CSP diversity networks are comprised of the disabled members’ network, the BME members’ network and the LGBT+ network. 
To join, or find out more, visit
  • Jess Belmonte is CSP national officer for equality and research
Jess Belmonte CSP national officer for equality and research

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