Durham University and Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust Joint Special Interest Group for Psychosis (JSIGP) is open to all staff working in either the Trust or University.  However, it will be of particular interest to those staff working in ‘psychosis services’ or who are involved in research within the field. A warm welcome is also extended to any service users who would like to attend. The group meets on a regular basis to discuss a wide range of topics and speakers.

The next meeting, featuring a presentation by Dr Dawn Edge (University of Manchester) on ‘The “Schizophrenia Epidemic” among African Caribbeans in the UK: Exploring Causes and Potential Solutions’, will be held on Wednesday September 24th 2014 from 5.30 – 7PM in the Joachim Room, College of St Hild and St Bede, Durham University (30 on this map).

Dawn Edge is a Senior Lecturer in the ‘Centre for New Treatments & Understanding in Mental Health’ (CeNTrUM) at The University of Manchester.  Her research emanates from a passion to reduce inequalities in access, care and treatment for mental health problems experienced by underserved communities. In addition to her academic post, Dawn is a Non-Executive Director of an NHS Mental Health & Social Care Trust and has worked with the Big Life Group to establish an inner-city Free School, which is committed to fostering pupils and parents’ well-being and resilience.

Abstract: African Caribbeans in the UK have the highest prevalence of schizophrenia, most difficult relationships with mental health services and greatest persistent inequalities in care of all ethnic groups.¹ Although rates of schizophrenia in the Caribbean are similar to those among White British people,² African Caribbeans in the UK are 9 times more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia. Paradoxically, they are often labelled ‘hard-to-reach’ by services reporting low levels of engagement and delayed access to treatment; resulting in a vicious circle of negative care pathways, coercive treatment, poorer outcomes, fear and avoidance of mental health services.³ Given the personal, social and political cost of the over-representation of African Caribbeans in the most coercive part of the mental healthcare spectrum, it is intriguing that so little emphasis has been placed on developing more effective interventions.

In this seminar, Dawn will explore the on-going debates about the factors that might account for the so-called ‘schizophrenia epidemic’ among people of Caribbean origin in the UK and will consider whether it is possible to take it out of the ‘too difficult to do’ box.

Places are limited for this event.  To reserve a place, please fill in our online registration form.

Service users and their families and friends who attend meetings of the Joint Special Interest Group for Psychosis can receive an honorarium of £20 plus travelling expenses.  For more information and to obtain the relevant claim forms, please contact Valentina Short.

If you would like to receive information about future JSIGP meetings via email, please sign up to the JSIGP mailing list.

1.  Morgan, C., et al., First episode psychosis and ethnicity: initial findings from the AESOP study. World Psychiatry, 2006. 5(1): p. 40-46.
2.  Mahy, G., et al., First-contact incidence rate of schizophrenia on Barbados. British Journal of Psychiatry, 1999. 175: p. 28-33.
3. Keating, F., et al., Breaking the circles of fear: A review of the relationship between mental health services and African and Caribbean communities. 2002, The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health: London.


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