Black people are four times more likely to be sectioned and given medication over talking therapy than those who are white, new figures have shown.
Mum-of-two Yvonne has Paranoid Schizophrenia and has been sectioned several times over the past 20 years, spending long periods in psychiatric care.
She believes being black made getting help even more difficult.
"I am more likely to be sectioned because I am black," she said. "I am more likely to be taken into police custody because I am black.
"I have never been offered any psychological intervention."
Her condition was only treated with medication and until recently she had never been offered any psychological therapies.
Yvonne added: "I didn't know I could access a crisis team that comes in and sees you at your house so you don't need to be sectioned.
"I would have chosen any of those because I wanted to stay with my children."
But now a new form of therapy has been developed for people from African and Caribbean backgrounds - which has been so successful they are now hoping to roll it out nationally.
Yvonne agreed to share her experiences with researchers from the university trialling the new talking therapy.
Research has shown racism can cause or worsen some mental health conditions.
The team behind CaFI believe just 10 one hour sessions of the therapy can change lives.
Nadia, 38, who was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia as a teenager, took part in the pilot study.
Since having the therapy she has gone back to college and moved into supported accommodation.
Nadia said: "The therapy sessions. made me more confident. They made me believe I can be somebody and I can do something."
The study is led by Professor Dawn Edge within Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) and other sites across England.
Professor Edge explained: "It's all about understanding people's lived experience, for example, I told a white colleague of mine about being followed in the shops and she asked me what I meant and that's the point.
"I don't know any black person I would have to explain that to, but if you don't have a frame of reference where every shop you go into people follow you about then you'd just chalk that up to paranoia - you wouldn't see it as people's lived experience."
Professor Edge says the main difference between CaFI and other forms of therapy is the focus on training the therapist to work cross culturally.
She added: "That means dealing with the elephant in the room- race and racism and people's lived experience of being racialised and how that affects their mental health."
To register your interest in getting involved with CaFI, or any questions about the study, contact the research team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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