Some months ago, I mentioned in an email to villagers our plan to launch evergreen projects - meaning initiatives that run indefinitely. In this proposal, we will vote on a decision to launch our first evergreen project in the UK centred on mental health treatment and affordability in Black communities.
Access to culturally sensitive mental health treatment is sorely lacking yet vital for many black people in the UK. Studies show that black people are more likely than people of other ethnic backgrounds to be diagnosed with severe mental health problems and yet are least likely to access suitable and needed mental health treatments.
We can all agree that the last few years have been tough for everyone, contributing to what many have called a mental health crisis in Black communities. Unfortunately, we are now at quite a chokepoint as the cost of living is not only exacerbating a mental health crisis, but stripping communities of any income, they may use to address the issue.
For many Black people, access to mental health treatment is a luxury; without intervention, these treatments will move further out of reach at a time when they are needed most.
We propose to launch an initiative to promote access to mental health treatment for Black people and to subsidise the cost of mental health treatments for those currently accessing treatment (e.g. psychotherapy), on waiting lists or interested in receiving mental health treatment.
We will fund this initiative with a proportionate amount from our village pot, which we will hold a vote on in the coming weeks, and allow others to make one-time donations to this initiative.
The mental health treatments will be carried out by existing and trusted charities that provide culturally sensitive mental health services to Black people. Each time we choose to engage with a new partner, we will hold a vote for approval from our villagers.
Here we are voting to launch this initiative in the UK or not.