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Research Leading to Action: A Study of Accessibility of a CAMH Service to Ethnic Minority Families



Background: This article describes an action research project aimed at examining the accessibility of a child and adolescent mental health service to its ethnic minority populations.

Method: A Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service was involved in a process of inquiry, deciding first to compare rate of referral and treatment outcomes for the four largest ethnic groups amongst the client population. Following discussion of findings throughout the service, groups of Bangladeshi service users and professionals were interviewed about low rates of referral amongst this community.

Results: By highlighting the different referral rates and profiles of different ethnic groups, the study elicited an increasingly shared commitment across the service to addressing issues of accessibility to ethnic minority communities.

Conclusions: The study is presented as one possible model of response to the challenge to all public services made by Macpherson (1999), to examine the ‘appropriateness’ of the service offered to different ethnic populations.