A critical race study of non-statutory mental healthcare for young people racialised as black

Salla, Anthony (2020) A critical race study of non-statutory mental healthcare for young people racialised as black. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

[img] PDF (Thesis - as examined) - Repository staff only - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (2MB)


This was a study of the experiences of young Black people, their pathway to, and experience of, non-statutory mental healthcare. Non-statutory support is that offered by voluntary and community-sector organisations, including churches, community-interest companies and small-scale private providers.

The following main research question was asked: what is the lived experience of young Black people when accessing and receiving non-statutory mental healthcare?

A descriptive phenomenological research approach was used for data collection and analysis. Between October 2017 and May 2018, qualitative interviews were conducted with 25 young Black people from several English cities who had received non-statutory support, drawing out the complex dynamics of their care pathway.

A narrative literature review was carried out. Black people’s relationship with mental health services has typically been understood through quantitative data, from the experiences of adults receiving statutory provision or care provided for persons with serious mental health problems. These studies point to longstanding racialised inequalities in the way they access and receive such care.

In this study, critical race theory, studies of racialisation and literature on the sociology of medicine were used in the research design, practice, analysis and theorisation. Concepts from these fields of scholarship that were used for critical analysis included a critique of liberalism, intersectionality, racism as ordinary, anti-anti essentialism and illness behaviour.

This thesis documents a number of key findings. It shows the importance of fear, and the development of racialised thinking due to societal racism and unsatisfactory service contacts on the pathway to care. This thesis evidences how the antecedents of the difficult relationship between Black people and mental health services can manifest themselves early in the life course. Findings also shed light on the way barriers to help-seeking can be overcome, and service experiences improved, when non-statutory care is contextualised to young Black service-users. In this way, the findings offer a distinct contribution to knowledge. In novel ways, they expand the literature looking at the pathway to care and service-related experiences. This includes opportunistic engagement practices and tailored interventions that are attuned to the racialised realities of young Black people.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Dixon, Bill
Jordan, Melanie
Chou, Shihning
Keywords: Racialised, racialisation, critical race theory, young Black people, mental health, mental ill-health, non-statutory care, phenomenological research, pathway to care.
Subjects: H Social sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Sociology and Social Policy
Item ID: 59825
Depositing User: Salla, Anthony
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2023 10:09
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2023 10:09
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/59825

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View