Black Women, Recovery and Resilience

This project aimed to explore the concept of recovery from the perspectives of African, African-Caribbean and South Asian women using in-depth interviews that focus on positive stories of recovery from mental distress.  Existing research shows that black women face unequal and unfair treatment within mental health services and that their needs are often not met in service provision. The current literature on recovery does not include enough understanding of the experiences of women from these communities. The stories highlight that for recovery to be real and lasting, we need to take on board black women's definitions of distress and how we make sense of it, including social, cultural and familial oppression and experiences of racism, sexism, violence, and cultural confusions. Uniquely, the stories of the researchers themselves, as black women experiencing mental distress, are included the research. The project, developed by Survivor Research and based at the Mental Health Foundation was funded by the National Mental Health Development Unit.