Researching African and Caribbean Health (ReACH)

Exploring health and wellbeing across Black African and Caribbean diasporas.

 

Researching African and Caribbean Health (ReACH) conducts studies to help us better understand and improve the health and wellbeing of people from African and Caribbean backgrounds in the UK and globally, while tackling inequalities.

This includes people who may describe themselves as ‘Black British’, ‘Mixed heritage’ and in other ways. We want to help improve the health and wellbeing of all people, and the care and experience of those who use services.

ReACH is led by Professor Dawn Edge, a Black Caribbean woman who works for The University of Manchester. Dawn is affiliated with Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. View Dawn’s research profile.

Our research

African and Caribbean health and wellbeing has been influenced through historical, political, and socio-cultural forces in specific ways.

For example, in the UK, Black African and Caribbean people are more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia and other psychoses than any other ethnic group. However, they are less likely to be diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorders.

Comparative studies have not found similar rates of morbidity in Caribbean countries like Jamaica, Barbados, and Trinidad. Racism, discrimination, migration, social, and economic disadvantage are among contributory risk factors in the UK.

In addition to developing theories about similarities and differences across the diaspora, we are committed to working with others to develop effective, evidence-based interventions.

Projects

Our projects look at different aspects of mental health. We are currently developing a body of work related to schizophrenia and psychosis. We are undertaking one study and have completed two others.

Current studies

Culturally-adapted Family Intervention (CaFI) for African and Caribbean People

  • ISRCTN Trial Registration: 12622538
  • Expected start date for main trial: 1 July 2021

In the UK, people with origins in Africa and the Caribbean are at increased risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia and psychosis compared to people from other ethnic groups. This is worsened by the inadequate care that Black people often experience.

Family intervention is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to tackle these issues. This is a psychological therapy that is carried out with the family of the person with psychosis or schizophrenia, and should also include that person if practical.

Our study seeks to make family intervention ‘less White’ and more relevant for Black African and Caribbean people with schizophrenia and psychosis. More information can be found on the CaFI website.

Student projects

Professor Dawn Edge welcomes enquiries from potential postgraduate students seeking to undertake research to tackle inequalities in mental and physical health.

If you are interested, please contact Dawn directly.

Email: dawn.edge@manchester.ac.uk

 

Completed studies

Culturally-appropriate Schizophrenia Psychological Education Resource (CaSPER)

The study team and families of African and Caribbean origin worked together to develop and test an online resource about schizophrenia. This study closed in August 2018.

CaFI feasibility study

The study team developed and tested effectiveness of a family intervention therapy to meet the needs of Black Caribbean people (diagnosed with schizophrenia) and their families. This study closed in August 2018.

Student projects

Patient and public involvement and engagement

Patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE) involves speaking to people from the communities being researched.

Co-production is a fundamental principle of ReACH, as service users and families should have a say in research processes that will impact their future health outcomes.

We have spoken to people from African and Caribbean backgrounds throughout our work, benefiting both contributors and researchers in the process.

If you are interested in getting involved with our PPI activities, please contact us.

Latest updates

We provide regular updates on our research and PPI activities through our blog.

Visit the blog for updates on events, studies and other ReACH activities.

There are many organisations and resources for people who want to learn more about the wider issues surrounding our research into the health and wellbeing of Black African and Caribbean people.

African and Caribbean health-focused websites
  • African and Caribbean Mental Health service – This community-based organisation provides free, confidential and culturally appropriate services predominately to Black African and Caribbean communities, as well as other ethnic minority groups.
  • African Caribbean Care Group – This charity supports those with long term health conditions to access culturally appropriate health care and activities which alleviate the impact of loneliness.
  • The Black, African and Asian Therapy Network – This organisation aims to address inequality of access to appropriate psychological services for Black, African, South Asian and Caribbean people.
  • Black Minds Matter – This organisation works to ensure Black people in the UK are better able to better access mental health support.
  • Black Thrive – This partnership works to reduce the inequality and injustice experienced by Black people in mental health services.
  • Caribbean and African Health Network – This organisation aims to reduce health inequalities for people of African and Caribbean in Greater Manchester and beyond.
  • Sandwell African Caribbean Mental Health Foundation – This charity provides services predominantly for Black African, Black Caribbean, and Black dual heritage adults recovering from mental illness and the wider community.
  • Catalyst 4 Change – This community interest company supports community organisations, social enterprises, faith groups and businesses that have a significant African and Caribbean mental health/wellbeing service user base.
Mental health websites
  • Hearing Voices Network – This charity aims to raise awareness of the diversity of voices, visions and similar experiences.
  • The McPin Foundation – This is a mental health research charity that use lived experiences of people affected by mental health problems at the heart of research methods and agenda.
  • The Mental Elf –This keeps you up to date with reliable mental health research and guidance. Their team post weekday blogs, highlighting evidence- based publications related to mental health practice.
  • Mind – This charity provides advice and support to anyone experiencing a mental health problem.
  • Psychosis research unit – This is a joint project between Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and The University of Manchester, which promotes a normalizing approach to understanding psychosis.
  • Rethink Mental Illness – This charity aims to meet each person’s individual needs, and make sure those living with a mental illness are treated with respect.

Research articles

These links go to academic research articles relevant to ReACH’s work.

Mental health
Sickle cell disease

Contact us

For further information or to get involved with our studies, please contact us.

Professor Dawn Edge
ReACH Director and CaFI Chief Investigator (The University of Manchester)
Tel: +44 (0)161 275 2570
Email: dawn.edge@manchester.ac.uk 

Bethany Thompson (King’s College London)
Email: bethany.l.thompson@kcl.ac.uk 

Bliss Gibbons (Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust)
Email: bliss.gibbons@covwarkpt.nhs.uk 

Jamal Alston (Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust)
Email: jamal.alston@gmmh.nhs.uk 

Where to find us in Manchester

3rd floor, Rawnsley Building
Manchester Royal Infirmary
Hathersage Road
Manchester
Greater Manchester
M13 9WL

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