Addressing the needs of ethnically diverse communities - Equality and Diversity Leads survey

Closed 1 May 2021

Opened 3 Mar 2021


Who we are

The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland (MWC) was originally set up in 1960 under the Mental Health Act.  Our duties are set out in current mental health and incapacity law.  We protect and promote the human rights of people with mental health problems, learning disabilities, dementia and other conditions.  We carry out our statutory duties by focusing on five main areas of work.  These are visiting people, monitoring the Acts, investigations, information and advice, and influencing and challenging.

What we are doing

The MWC is conducting a national project to explore the extent to which the principles of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 on equality and respect for diversity are realised in practice within Mental Health Services across the country, particularly in relation to Scotland’s culturally and ethnically diverse communities.

We plan to create an environment for safe and informed listening and are speaking with patients who have received mental health care, and their relatives.  We are also seeking the views of staff who work within mental health services to allow the MWC to hear about good practice, identify issues, collate information, better understand where it should be directing our future activity in this area and enable us to advocate for change in policy and practice if required. 

The main aims of our project include:

  • To identify the barriers, problems or positives that people from ethnically diverse communities with lived experience of mental health difficulties and illness and their carers experience in accessing and receiving support from mental health services and advocacy services
  • To identify training offered to and accessed by professionals and the perceived challenges to services and the professionals working within these in ensuring an equitable level of care and support for people from ethnically diverse communities and how are these met
  • To identify and report on what steps organisations that deliver mental health services in Scotland have done to include diversity at various levels through the organisation including at senior levels
  • To identify all areas that the MWC report on and ensure all equality, diversity and inequality data is captured
  • To consider how well the functions of the MWC are discharged for those from ethnically diverse backgrounds in terms of visiting, the advice line and investigations work
  • To consider mechanisms in how the MWC can best influence in this area

How you can help us

We are contacting you as you have been identified as a key Equality and Diversity contact by the Chief Executive of your Health Board.  In order to help us achieve our aims, we would be grateful if you could please take the time to complete this survey.  We estimate completion should take around 30 minutes and does not need to be completed in one session, as you can save your progress and return to it another time. 

From our initial key stakeholder discussions, we recognise and appreciate that not all Health Boards have the same structures for Mental Health services and responsibility for diversity and staffing may differ between Boards.  If you feel someone else within your Health Board may be better suited to answer a particular question, for example a another senior colleague working within Mental Health Services, we would encourage you to consult with them in order to best complete the survey. 

If you would like to contact the Ethnically Diverse Project team to discuss any aspect of this survey, please email: with EDP Feedback in the subject line.

We would be grateful if you could please complete and submit the survey by 1 May 2021.

What happens next

The data will be analysed by the Commission and the data you submit will be treated confidentially and stored securely by the Commission for 12 months after the publication of a final report.

Once we have analysed the data, we will publish a report to present our findings from across Scotland and where necessary make recommendations to help improve service, practice and provision for people from ethnically diverse communities. The report will also be sent to the Scottish Government and all Health Boards across Scotland and we will follow up on any recommendations and associated action plans.

If you would like to know more about the Mental Welfare Commission you can find this on


  • Anyone from any background


  • Review information