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Addressing the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Access To and Experience of Mental Health Care of People from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Groups (ARIADNE)

Leads: Dr Domenico Giacco, Prof Swaran Singh, Prof Paramjit Gill (Youth Mental Health), Prof Graeme Currie, Dr Gareth Owen (Organisational Science), Prof Robin Miller (Social Care)

Lived-Experience Advisory Groups, working across the four sites, will work in partnership with the research team throughout the project.

Dates: April 2021 - March 2022


Historically, people from Black, Asian and Minority ethnic (BAME) groups have had a worse experience of and reduced access to mental health care than White British groups. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened these inequalities. Routine community care has become less available and BAME groups have been highly affected by the economic downturn and COVID-related mortality. Hence there is a greater need than ever to develop and implement policies and actions to improve access to and experience of mental health care of BAME groups.

Policy and Practice Partners:

National groups will include the NHS Race and Health Observatory, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Government Commission on Race Equality and the Synergi Collaborative Centre. Locally workshops will engage community and religious leaders as well as local and regional voluntary and third sector services and local NHS Trusts. The Lived-Experience Advisory Groups will co-develop interview guides and other resources, and provide further advice on identified solutions and dissemination. This project was recommended for funding by the NIHR Policy Research Programme call on “Recovery, Renewal, Reset: Research to inform policy responses to COVID-19 in the health and social care systems”.

Co-Funding Partners:

Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust.

Aims and Objectives:

Developing actions and interventions for improving access and experience of mental health care for BAME groups, through a participatory process including service users, carers, clinicians and other professionals involved in mental health care pathways.


We will use an experience-based co-design approach in four sites (Coventry and Warwickshire, East London, Sheffield, Greater Manchester), including geographical areas with different levels of social deprivation, ethnic composition and urbanicity/rurality.

In a first research study, we will interview service users, carers, NHS and community & voluntary sector staff, and other stakeholders (social care and police). This will provide a broad range of views on the gaps and inequalities in current mental health care and how the pandemic has impacted them.

We will then carry out separate professionals’ and service users’ workshops to identify priority areas.

Finally, we will organise a series of five workshops with smaller numbers of service users and professionals to translate identified priorities into service improvement actions which can be put in practice and monitored. Theory of change and implementation plans for the co-produced actions and interventions will be formulated in collaboration with behavioural and organisational change experts in our team.

Main Results:




Implications for Implementation:

Some actions and interventions arising from this study are expected to be immediately usable at both local and national levels (e.g. effective ways of disseminating information on services, service-level practice changes). Others will require further research evaluation and/or quality improvement initiatives for their full implementation. The network created through the project will support all these actions and interventions. Policy guidance will be circulated to local and national policy makers and findings summarised in scientific publications and disseminated through social media and local broadcasters.