Established in 1991, our aim was to provide a forum where Black and other Ethnic Minority group Mental Health users in Waltham Forest could obtain support. It also served as a safe and welcoming environment to discuss and gain knowledge about Mental health, and the issues that affected Black communities e.g. the over representation of Black people in psychiatric hospital and why we were not accessing the services for our families.
Initially responding to the over representation of young homeless men unable to find shelter in Waltham Forest, we set up stepping-stone day care in two rooms in Vicarage Road, Leyton. BPMHA is now a fully fledged (if still small) charity providing advocacy and day care services for Black Mental Health users, for both men and women in a purpose built building. In the past 21 years we has also established a support service for carers of Black Mental Health Users and it remains the only service specifically targeted at Black Mental Health Carers in the borough. The DTE (Down to Earth) User Group began 14 years ago.