Resources and Support for People from Ethnic Minority Backgrounds


Sunderland Counselling Service are committed to ensuring all individuals are treated equally and with respect.

We support the current global movement, in its courageous drive to highlight inequalities for people from Ethnic Minority backgrounds.

We aim to:

*  provide a safe and supportive space for clients from ethnic minority backgrounds to access psychological therapy

*  challenge any racism whether institutional, social, direct or indirect

*  commit to developing our knowledge and understanding of issues impacting people from ethnic minority backgrounds

*  break down barriers that stop people from ethnic minority backgrounds accessing support

Why we are no longer using the term BAME.

BAME is the acronym for Black, Asian, Minority, Ethnic and is used to define all ethnic groups of people apart from white ethnic groups.

However, In its report, published on 31 March 2021, the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities found that aggregate terms like ‘BAME’ (black, Asian and minority ethnic) were no longer helpful because the put people with varied backgrounds and experiences into one group. This can mean that it is more difficult to understand the experiences and outcomes of different groups of people.


This chart displays the latest figures of the UK’s population.


Black and minority ethnic people experience a wide number of inequalities related to mental health. This ranges from particular ethnic communities having a higher risk of being detained in secure institutions to more general difficulties for all black and minority ethnic communities in accessing appropriate care and support their for mental health needs”.

  • How will my counsellor work with my cultural differences? As counsellors we want you to have a ‘voice’ and we will strive to listen, learn and understand from your cultural perspective.
  • What if English is not my first language? We can provide an interpreter to help relay information between you and your therapist during the counselling session.
  • What if my counsellor is from a different ethnicity to me? As counsellors we are committed to working in a non-judgemental and inclusive way with all our clients. We don’t have to be the same to work successfully together. Counselling works on developing trust and in the recognition and acceptance of difference.


What is racism and racial discrimination?

Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another, that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics.

Racial discrimination is when a person is treated less favourably due to their race, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin.

There are several forms of discrimination:

  • Direct discrimination - treating someone with a protected characteristic less favourably than others
  • Indirect discrimination - putting rules or arrangements in place that apply to everyone, but that put someone with a protected characteristic at an unfair disadvantage
  • Harassment - unwanted behaviour linked to a protected characteristic that violates someone’s dignity or creates an offensive environment for them
  • Victimisation - treating someone unfairly because they’ve complained about discrimination or harassment


The report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities


What to do if you are experiencing racial discrimination

Know your rights – it is illegal to discriminate against you due to your race in the following situations:

  • Employment and training
  • Education
  • When providing good and services
  • Housing
  • Any of the activities provided by public authorities e.g. NHS, the police, government departments and local authorities.

The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in some situations. Racial discrimination is the most common form of discrimination reported to police.

What is hate crime:

Hate crime is defined as ‘any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone based on a personal characteristic.’ There are five centrally monitored strands of hate crime:

  • Race or ethnicity
  • Religion or beliefs
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability
  • Transgender identity

Hate crime can include:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Threatening behaviour such as intimidation and aggression
  • Threatening or abusive correspondence either by letter, email, MSN, video or via social networking sites
  • Threatening or abusive phone calls and text messages
  • Deliberately 'outing' or threat of 'outing'
  • Criminal damage to personal belongings, buildings or vehicles
  • Offensive graffiti or printed materials
  • Placing rubbish, paint or any other offensive substances on any part of a house or building
  • Arson or attempted arson
  • Physical attacks

Hate Crime Statistics UK 2018-2019

What to do if you have experienced hate crime:

  • Get medical help if necessary
  • Write a record of what happened, with witness names and contact details, if possible
  • Contact the Police
  • Find support from family and friends or Victim support
  • Seek psychological support – hate crime can have a lasting effect on your emotional wellbeing and can sometimes lead to depression and anxiety


Evidence is emerging of how black, Asian and minority ethnic communities are being disproportionately affected. Despite making up only 14% of the population, one study has shown that we account for a third of critically ill coronavirus patients in our hospitals.

The reasons behind this disparity are complex and varied. We know people from ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely to be employed in frontline roles – whether it’s in the NHS, as care workers, shelf-stackers or bus drivers. In the NHS, for example, around 40% of doctors and 20% of nurses are from ethnic minority backgrounds. In London, 67% of the adult social care workforce are from ethnic minority backgrounds. This exposure puts them at greater risk of catching the coronavirus in the first place.

David Weaver, President, British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy says:

“We want to see a strategy that addresses the ongoing trauma that is being faced... There needs to be an urgent conversation about culturally appropriate high-quality therapeutic interventions.

“We need the government to see the importance of counselling services at this time and the role they can play in reaching these communities.”


Sunderland BME Network
Tel: 0191 4065367 Offering all round support and information for the people from ethnic minority backgrounds.

NERS (North East Refugee Service)
Tel: 0191 511 1410

International Community Organisation of Sunderland
Tel. 07596 538 482

Ethnic Minority Achievement Service
Tel. 07557 893 778

Help for people for whom English is their second language

Apna Ghar Minority Ethnic Womens Centre

Tel. 0191 4564147

A community centre for Women to meet and socialise

Age UK
Tel. 0800 678 1602 

Supporting Human Rights

Angelou Centre

Tel. 0191 226 0394

Supporting women and children whom are at risk from domestic and sexual violence.

BAMEed is a movement initiated in response to the continual call for intersectionality and diversity in the education sector. Show up and stand up as an ally


Article by Green Park research company with information about the top job roles in the UK.