The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities has published its report into racial and ethnic disparities in the UK.
We’re unable to support the Commission’s findings that “the big challenge of our age is not overt racial prejudice, it is building on and advancing the progress won by the struggles of the past 50 years”.
Responding to the report, Suky Kaur, our Head of Stakeholder Relations, said: “Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve seen inequalities in UK society highlighted in a way we’ve never seen before.
“Evidence has emerged on the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on ethnic minorities. We’ve lived through the global reaction to the death of George Floyd and the elevation of the Black Lives Matter movement and the questions that these have raised for all of us about enduring discrimination, inequality and systemic racism.
“It's difficult for us to fully support the report as we know from our members and clients that the picture is very different on the ground for ethnic minorities."
The report makes 24 recommendations that are grouped into four broad themes: build trust, promote fairness, create agency and achieve inclusivity.
They cover the aspects of change that the Commission believes will catalyse the most effective way to meaningfully address disparities and inequalities for all those affected.
Suky said: “There are of course some recommendations we can think about in the context of our on-going work on race and racism.
“Within the report’s recommendations we note ‘teaching an inclusive curriculum. Produce high-quality teaching resources, through independent experts, to tell the multiple, nuanced stories of the contributions made by different groups that have made this country the one it is today’.
“We know through feedback from our members that the curriculum for counselling and psychotherapy is taught from a Eurocentric perspective and equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) are often seen as a bolt on to training.
“We’re committed to working with the Diversity and Inclusion Coalition to inform future diversity and inclusion standards and competences within training, the industry and professional practice.
“One of the big issues we need to address are the barriers to entry into the profession and how we best support a skilled, competent and diverse workforce to deliver therapy to people from all sections of UK society.
“A diverse and ethically-grounded counselling profession will strive to remove barriers that prevent people accessing therapy and contribute to positioning counselling as a positive, responsive and sensitive service that respects and strengthens individual identity and improves emotional wellbeing.
“Another important aspect of our evolving EDI strategy will be to develop a discourse with diverse communities to understand barriers to accessing therapy, their needs, and to support equality of access to counselling and psychotherapy, working with local communities to develop services that are meaningful and fit for purpose to the people they serve.”
Working with race and diversity
A selection of resources exploring race and diversity to support our members and their clients.
From the President: Let's deal with race
David Weaver reflects on a tumultuous year. Therapy Today, October 2020
The big issue: Black matters
Open article: We need to talk about race. But how? And what is stopping us? Black and Asian counsellors talk about race and the profession, and what needs to change. Therapy Today, September 2020