Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England has today published a Statement of Intent on Race Equity setting out practical commitments to be an anti-racist organisation.
It follows a Statement of Solidarity released in response to the murder of George Floyd and details a set of actions MHFA England will take within its community and through its training, social purpose and campaigning to bring about change and champion anti-racism.
The statement was developed in discussion with MHFA England staff and Instructor Members and builds on the organisation’s signing of Business in the Community’s Race at Work Charter and ACEVO’s Diversity Leadership Principles.
Ama Afrifa-Tchie, Head of Culture and Wellbeing at MHFA England, said:
“For too long anti-racism has been a footnote for businesses. Taking responsibility to listen, hear, self-reflect; to understand white privilege and fragility, learn about Black history and systemic racism, amplify the voices of People of Colour and Black people - and then take action - is essential.
“We know our training can be a force for real change and can help to turn the tide on racial disparities in mental health, including the disproportionate use of the Mental Health Act. We will be holding ourselves accountable for the progress we make, learning together, and being honest about our successes and failures as we put these commitments into action.”
In all, the statement details the first fifteen actions that MHFA England will take under the guidance of a dedicated project team. It sets out how the commitments relate to MHFA England’s mission and vision as a social enterprise, its brand values and includes a selection of recommended articles, books and videos on a variety of race equity topics.
To ensure momentum is maintained, updates will be published each quarter to share progress against the commitments made.
Chief Executive, Simon Blake, commented:
“In the past six weeks the world has thankfully woken up to the devastating impact of systemic racism and white privilege across society. Change is long overdue, and it is up to every leader and every organisation to ensure our organisations are truly anti-racist.
“Today we are committing to a long-term programme of change that means we will be reviewing everything we do through an anti-racist lens. We will be working across the MHFA England community to build the awareness, confidence and competence we all need to tackle racism and racial disparities head on in our work.
“Tackling systemic and Institutional Racism is fundamental to our vision of improving the mental health of the nation. It is crucial that our values, beliefs, policies, workplace culture, content and courses are underpinned by commitments that progress race equity and racial justice.”
To read the statement in full visit: mhfaengland.org/my-whole-self/statement-of-intent-on-race-equity