To our valued members and stakeholders,
We are excited to announce a pivotal change within our organisation, formerly known as The Black and Minority Ethnics in Psychiatry & Psychology (BiPP) Network.
Since our inception in 2019, the BiPP Network has worked with an array of global majority¹ groups and organisations to host events and activities which address and tackle racial inequalities in the mental health profession. These have included our inaugural event, reflective practice groups, race, racism, and mental health lecture series, and the ‘In Conversation with Black professors’ event which have educated over 1,600 attendees on structural barriers to careers in psychiatry and psychology, cross-cultural psychology, and racial disparities in mental health care. Our 2020 #NewFaceofPsychology campaign showcased and celebrated the next generation of psychologists from global majority backgrounds. This campaign successfully platformed the experiences of more than 35 trainee clinical, educational, forensic, occupational, and counselling psychologists, amassing over 2,700 views, and cultivated a more inclusive and inspiring narrative for aspiring psychologists from global majority backgrounds.
During our work, we have observed a considerable difference in the experience of Black registered and prospective mental health professionals, supported by data from the Health and Care Professions Council report on diversity within health and care professions. The report revealed that only 2% of practitioner psychologists identified as Black, compared to 5% Asian and 84% White (HCPC. 2023). The scarcity of Black individuals in psychology is further accentuated when examining their presence across various psychological subfields. Only 1% of registered clinical, occupational and sport psychologists, 2% of forensic psychologists, and 3% of educational, health and counselling psychologists are Black (HCPC, 2023). Thus, after careful deliberation, we, the Directors of the BiPP Network, have chosen to adjust the name of our initiative from the Black, and Minority Ethnic (BME) in Psychiatry & Psychology Network to the Black People in Psychiatry & Psychology Network (BiPP Network).
Our decision comes following deep reflection about the organisation's mission and priorities, as well as our team’s collective experience, socio-cultural heritage, and ethnic identification. Moving forward, the BiPP Network will focus on providing a community for registered and prospective mental health professionals who self-identify as Black African, Black Caribbean, or from the diaspora or mixed heritage, to acquire social, emotional, psychological, and developmental support. We aim to advance the representation of Black people in psychiatry and psychology by hosting events and activities, and produce research that tackles racial inequity in the mental health profession. We will also provide advice, guidance, and consultancy to organisations that wish to advance racial equity, diversity, and inclusion.
In making this adjustment, we do not intend to dismiss the experience of other global majority groups from our events and activities, or become agents of exclusion. Instead, we aim to focus our efforts on advocating for Black individuals. Following this transition, we intend to facilitate, collaborate, and advocate for initiatives and organisations that work in a similar capacity to us, but provide the global majority representation that we currently do not. We hope our work will continue to exemplify anti-discriminatory and culturally aware practice.
We welcome comments, questions and suggestions via email (email@example.com). Thank you for your interest in supporting the development of our initiative.
The Black People in Psychiatry & Psychology Network.
¹ We use the term ‘global majority’ to refer to racial groups that are viewed as minorities within Western contexts (Campbell-Stephens, 2020). This term de-centres whiteness and challenges the deficit narrative often applied to ‘othered’ racial groups (Ahsan, 2020; Atayero, 2023).