Community worker to combat mental health prejudice

A COMMUNITY worker has been employed by North Somerset Primary Care Trust to help people in ethnic communities with mental health problems.

A COMMUNITY worker has been employed by North Somerset Primary Care Trust to help people in ethnic communities with mental health problems.

Jay Akerele will work alongside other agencies, including Somerset Racial Equality Council, to help people access to treatment for illnesses such as depression.

The 30-year-old, originally from Botswana in Africa, wants to break down prejudices toward mental health treatment which exist in certain cultures, and also to combat negativity on behalf of those who provide services.

Mr Akerele, who lives with his wife in locking Castle, said: "I would like to hear from anyone who has experience of these issues and would be willing to share information and ideas about how we can make a positive difference.


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"Although I have not encountered any bad feeling toward ethnic minority people in North Somerset I want to make it easier for people to understand what services are available to them.

"Prejudice can creep in which means in some instances Irish people would not get the treatment they needed for alcohol abuse, for example."

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Jay will work with Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership, Somerset Racial Equality Council, schools and the unitary authority to help improve people's experiences.

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