About us About us

BAMEStream is an alliance of practitioners, therapists, policy specialists, organisations, activists and academia who specialise in the areas of mental health and wellbeing and who’s core purpose during this Covid-19 pandemic is to bring the mental health needs of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community into the mainstream.

Covid-19 is having a devastating impact and we have come together to support the development and delivery of mental health and wellbeing services to ensure that the needs of our local communities are being met as a result of this pandemic and crisis.

Institutional apathy, structural inequalities, racism, fear, stigma and discrimination means that Black Asian and Minority Ethnic people are disadvantaged when it comes to accessing mental health and wellbeing services, and to the quality of care they can receive. Covid-19 has also amplified the level of the health inequalities and it has given rise to other social and economic disparities – which when compounded by isolation due to lockdown and grief and bereavement, it will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the mental health and wellbeing of BAME communities.

BAMEStream’s commitment is to ensure that there is widespread awareness and understanding of the gaps in service, policy and practice, that lessons for positive change are learnt, and appropriate actions are taken to mitigate the differential risks and inequalities in mental health care. We will be working together as an alliance to ensure that culturally appropriate therapeutic, psychological and social interventions are integrated into the mainstream and that they are widely available and accessible.

The emergence of BAMEStream arose from the question ‘What are we going to do to support our Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities through this COVID-19 pandemic?’ Our answer was to come together to ensure that through this crisis the mental health needs of our communities remain on the mainstream agenda and they are rightfully provided with access to culturally responsive services and culturally sensitive support.

Helen George, Founder BME Voices Talk Mental Health

Working with people from the BAME Community we see first-hand the toll that Covid-19 is having on people’s mental and emotional wellbeing, especially around death, bereavement and grief. BAMEStream is responding to an urgent need for easy access to culturally competent practitioners, counsellors and therapists.

Dr Yansie Rolston FRSA, The Ubele Initiative

COVID-19 is having a significant impact on households in Britain especially those from BAME communities. When you lose a family member like I have you realise the importance of finding the truth and answers. COVID-19 is like to a mirror to the country highlighting historical and everyday racism and discrimination and its impact on the life and death of BAME communities. We need a transparent and open process to explore structural inequalities with action and accountability for delivery for all.

Patrick Vernon OBE, Social Commentator and Mental Health Campaigner

BAME people and communities are dying in disproportionate numbers as a result of this virus. However, there is very little, if any, narrative emerging about the need for a strategy to address the specific types of trauma unfolding within BAME communities. Funding bodies and government need to urgently resource culturally appropriate, high-quality therapeutic interventions to address these impacts. BAMEStream’s specialist entry into this space at this time is critical.

David Weaver, Independent Chair, Coalition of Race Equality Organisations (CORE) and President of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)

Covid-19 has brought into sharp focus the pre-existing schisms within our society and the stark imbalance of privilege and disadvantage even for highly qualified black and Asian professionals. BAMEStream is one of many much-needed responses to our hurt and distress.

Eugene Ellis, Director, Black, African and Asian Therapy Network (BAATN)

In responding to a pandemic crisis such as Covid-19, highlights the disparity of power and privilege as well as access to resources. We know the dangers of a single narrative and hence BAMEStream is a collaborated union providing interventions directed for the community by the community.

Dr Yetunde Ade-Serrano, Founder, Black & Asian Counselling Psychologists’ Group (BACPG) and Chair of the British Psychological Society (BPS) Division of Counselling Psychology (DCoP)

BAMEStream’s deliberate assembly of professionals and organisations provides a much-needed responsive platform to the unequal consequences of Covid-19 on BAME communities. The diversities of experience in this coalition uniquely position it to confront the toll of the pandemic on marginalized groups in our country.

Baffour Ababio, Nafsiyat Intercultural Therapy Service