In its bittersweetness, the Covid-19 pandemic has refocused public attention to the challenges that have long-affected the Black communities, revealing their struggle with economic, social and racial inequalities in the UK.
Women from Black and minority ethnic communities face the weight of both racial and gender inequality. Not only have they taken on the added burden of childcare and housework like most women during lockdown, but evidence shows that they are more likely than any other group to lose their jobs, to worry about debt and to be struggling to cope.
These experiences have had a devastating impact on their mental health. Our Covid-19 survey which ran earlier this year with women from our networks revealed that three in five of participants have seen their mental health worsen during the pandemic, and 52% consider mental health support an urgent need. Yet, many continue to face barriers in accessing emotional support, from lack of culturally-appropriate services, to discrimination in receiving these services.
As an organisation that has supported Black women for over 35 years, FORWARD provides essential culturally sensitive counselling support for those experiencing mental health problems, or facing any form of violence.
I was very depressed, I felt my life was worthless, I couldn’t sleep at all and life was boring. I have sought support from FORWARD through their online chat room, it was really helpful and I found someone listen to me, advise me and refer me to counselling.
In response to this current crisis, FORWARD is expanding its mental health services to provide emergency counselling and support for 60 women and young women to help them fight anxiety, depression and isolation. Your support today can help us to achieve our goal and carry the women in our communities through these tough times.