Trust RNMH, Sifiso Nare, reflects on Black History Month

We need diversity to provide effective mental health services

Black History month is an opportunity for me to reflect on the experiences of being an ethnic minority staff member. At times being an ethnic minority staff feels like a crazy paradox of being invisible in some issues such as job promotion or recognition and yet very visible when it comes to any oversight or mistakes one makes, any minor infraction or misstep can be overly magnified which can leave one feeling like they are constantly under the microscope. It at times feels like the saying ‘’ to err is human’’ is only for a certain group in society and when ethnic minorities or BME staff err, they are made to feel like idiots. However, I’m glad that for some of us we can rise above such misconceptions or bias. It is the resilience which was instilled in our upbringing that makes us tick and continue serving the communities we exist in. The diversity of the communities we serve is indeed a constant reminder that regardless of our differences in for example race, gender, religion etc the problems we face in terms of our physical and mental wellbeing are the same, which in turn makes one hope that the working environment can be the same in terms of being inclusive to enable everyone to receive the same support in order for everyone to flourish to their full potential.

It feels rewarding that despite the difficult circumstances we at times face we continue to make a positive contribution to society. My dream is that we can have more representation higher up the corporate ladder.