home first back 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 forward

on the asylums set up by the Moors. The gardens are based on the Moors' 'gardens of peace'. The
plan is interesting because it reflects not only the traditional African compound structure, but
also the circular system of inter-connectedness, which is the traditional belief of the Yoruba

What we see happening here is the development of a real and practical 'Afro-centric' alternative
to the 'Eurocentric' mental health system. We are not talking about theory or ideology but of
things that are going on now. This is where one would want to see the aims of The Health of the
being fulfilled. Up until now, confidence in black alternatives – and realistic funding –
has been sadly lacking.


1. My placement

I did my final placement with Sheffield African Caribbean Mental Health Association, known as
SACHMA. I chose this placement because being a black woman I wanted to find out what were
the experiences of black people with mental health problems within the psychiatric services

SACMHA is a registered charity established in 1988 with a remit to provide a range of
community support services to Black people (African Caribbean) in Sheffield and the
surrounding region, living with mental health problems or providing care and support
for such individuals.

SACMHA came into being as a result of pressure from Black carers in the community for
a service responsive to their needs, and the needs of those for whom they were caring,
because there was and remains a perception that the services provided by the statutory
authorities for Black mentally ill were at best marginalizing and at wore actively
discriminatory. The community required an organisation which had the capacity to
understand the issues enough to itself be capable of assisting the statutory authorities in
achieving their clear responsibility for provision of adequate services reflecting the multi-
ethnic nature of their varied client groupings.

SACMHA’s key objectives:

1. To relieve African Caribbean persons in the area of benefit who are living with mental
illness, by provision of non-statutory health care facilities and of research, information,
advice and education in all aspects of mental health.

2. To provide faculties for social and leisure activities for African Caribbean people who
are suffering from mental illness, and their carers, in the area of benefit.

3. To work in partnership wherever possible with statutory and other non-statutory
bodies in seeking the further development of appropriate services for African Caribbean
people living with mental illness.

SACMHA provides a range of services for individuals with mental illness and in need of specific

1. Accommodation

2. Individual care work with a SACMHA named staff