Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership is committed to race equality in mental health care says Lesley Dewhurst, chair of Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership, at the start of Black History Month.

Here she shares the partnership’s pledge to deliver and co-deliver services for everyone in the county.

Below the video is a transcript of the Lesley’s words. If you would like to read the text in other languages use the Browsealoud function of this website – click the ear icon on this webpage, followed by the globe symbol. You can use the Browsealoud translation function throughout this website.

“Black History Month has a relevance to every one of us, it serves as an annual reminder to celebrate Black peoples’ resilience and resistance to everyday oppression. The month provides an opportunity for people from all different backgrounds to come together, share experiences, listen, and learn.

“Achieving true equality is hard work and requires us to be honest with ourselves and each other; it requires us to meaningfully engage and connect; to reach out and listen; and to be prepared to hear uncomfortable truths.

“We need to work with all members of our diverse communities to better understand how to deliver, and co-deliver, services to our diverse Oxfordshire community. Currently we are failing them, because we are not getting it right. Whether deliberately or subconsciously we have furthered feelings of exclusion and otherness and this must stop. There is so much more we need to do. We need to dig deeper, think more widely, harness the skills and experience of those around us. Be inquisitive. Ask questions and play our part in finding solutions.  Help people to create the world they want to live in. Our actions should speak far louder than our words.

“We ask you to join us on this journey where we admit we still have so much to learn. We want you to tell us where and how we can improve as a service provider and employer.

“We truly want everyone who comes into contact with the Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership to experience real equality and inclusion, and we will only be able to achieve this vision and mission with your support.”

The award-winning Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership is Restore, Response, Oxfordshire Mind, Connection Support, Elmore Community Services and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. Find out more at the OMHP website.