People from black and minority backgrounds in south west London suffer disproportionately from mental health problems because of deprivation and discrimination, a report has revealed.

26 per cent of Kingston, 35 per cent of Merton, 14 per cent of Richmond, 21 per cent of Sutton and 30 per cent of Wandsworth’s populations are made up of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) residents, according to the 2011 census.

The report, by the South West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust, states that BAME groups are disproportionately affected by common and severe mental health problems due to deprivation, discrimination, poorer housing and education.

In south west London the proportion of the population for whom English is not the main language is Kingston 16 per cent, Merton 21 per cent, Richmond 10 per cent, Sutton 10 per cent and Wandsworth 17 per cent.

A charity, the Mental Health Foundation, states that poverty and racism may explain these differences in mental health. It also suggested a language barrier could contribute to misdiagnosis.

Despite south west London being a reasonably healthy and affluent area, the report revealed areas of significant deprivation which contributed to mental health inequalities.

Indices of deprivation, where a rank of 1 is most deprived and a rank of 326 is least deprived, revealed that unsurprisingly Richmond was the least deprived at 285, followed by Kingston (255) and Merton (208).

However, Sutton (196) and Wandsworth (121) had the highest ranks of deprivation out of south west London’s boroughs included in the report.

Evidence shows there is a strong relationship between deprivation and mental illness.

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