Published on: 29th April 2019

Volunteers representing Salford’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities have met for the first time to start training on becoming mental health ‘champions’ and help more vulnerable people in the city.

Engagement work with BAME groups, including the health needs assessment, has highlighted that more mental health support is needed in BAME communities. Salford CCG has recruited 14 volunteers to become BAME mental health champions.

Each mental health champion represents people in their own community - including African, Yemini, Chinese, Polish and Jewish - along with BAME members of the armed forces, to act as links to mental health services in Salford.

The champions will meet every month for a year and will undertake accredited ‘Mental Health First Aid’ training as part of their commitment. Their role includes sharing important information with their community and signposting people to the appropriate services.  

The group met for the first meeting on Wednesday, April 17, showing enthusiasm and willingness to learn and work together to improve people’s mental health in BAME communities.

Three people showing their badge at Salford’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic's mental health champions

Salford CCG’s Governing Body Diversity Lead, Kate Jones, said: “The CCG welcomes diversity and acknowledges that difference brings value to our organisation and therefore I’m delighted to introduce the new BAME mental health champions to Salford.

“Characteristics such as race and cultural allow us to work in different ways to improve mental health and recovery across the city.”

Along with support from Salford CCG, the champions group is being facilitated by Result CiC, a local community interest company who work with people who feel excluded in society.

Man doing a presentation on mental health and attendees taking part