West Country mental health professionals call for more diversity within the field

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Mental health practitioners are calling for more ethnic diversity within the profession.

It comes as figures show that if you are black, you are more likely to be affected by mental health issues than if you are white, but white people are more than twice as likely to be getting help. 

Sangeeta Dewan is a life coach in Bristol who sees clients from all backgrounds.

She says being able to understand the cultural differences between people when providing support is essential:

"I remember one of my clients saying that she has worked with other counsellors and they have done an amazing job with the things they do" she said.

"But as soon as she came to me within one session I understood the core problem, I got down to the basic why because I could connect, I could relate to it, I could really see the cultural background and the beliefs that we carry."

Sangeeta hopes her work in the field is helping to break down barriers and remove stigma around discussing mental health.

A spokesperson for the NHS said it is "expanding mental health crisis care so that people do not face any barriers when accessing the care they need, when they need it most.  

"Local areas are piloting services to tackle inequalities, including guidance on expanding access to talking therapies for Black Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and working directly with ethnically diverse groups so that their experiences and feedback can help make improvements to mental health services."