So Long and Thank You BCU!

Well, today was the day. Today was our final day at BCU and that meant presenting our final projects to everyone in the trip plus staff from BCU. Everyone that presented today had very well done slides with lots of important information. I know that I certainly learned a lot from all of the projects that I saw today!

The first group to present today focused on mental health in education and healthcare settings. Mental health in the UK can be found in many areas of the NHS. It is also free, but you would need a referral through the public process. The general practitioner (GP) would then give the patient five options to choose from for treatments. As part of the process, talk therapy is a large component. However, there is usually a waiting period. For non-urgent cases, it would take 18 weeks to get a talk therapy appointment if using the public health system. While waiting for talk therapy, GP’s usually prescribe their patients meds. The first group also talked about availability of mental health services. In the US, there are not many mental health facilities in rural parts of the country. When looking at the educational side of things, schools in the UK do not have social workers in the school. It is slightly different in the US since some schools will have social workers present. And, unfortunately, there are still issues that the UK and US both similarly face. The issues are a lack of communication, increased wait times, and access to resources being the biggest problem in my eyes. Overall, the first group showed me just how big of a problem mental health is and has always been in education and health settings. It is a hope of mine that one day the stigma around mental health will finally be gone so that everyone can get what they need and not have to suffer.

The second group focused on migrancy in the education and healthcare settings. The first major statistic shown to us was that in the UK, black women were 4x more likely to die in childbirth than white women. And another statistic is that 32% of foreign-born people live in poverty. It is quite saddening to see that a significant percent are living in poverty and that black women are dying at rates like this from childbirth. On the education side, migrancy is not used in education in the UK. In both the US and UK, 14% of the population comes from immigration. While in the US that stat is increasing, we were told that it is plateauing in the UK since 2016. Coincidentally, this lines up right with the Brexit referendum. Something that I was astonished to hear was that the standardized tests in the UK do not accommodate for foreign languages in the upper level testing. For as major as tests are in the UK and US education system, only the US actually has accommodations, but it is based on a state by state. The UK needs to provide some sort of accommodations for those in the upper level testing. Overall, the second group’s presentation was a great way to show us just how much of an importance migrancy has in the education and healthcare settings.

The final group presented to us about the racial disparities in the education and healthcare settings. The healthcare side has a dark story right out of the gate. We were told that, at one point in US history, black women were sterilized 3x more than white women and 12x more than white men. Also, the Tuskegee syphilis experiment did not give the black community a reason to trust healthcare in the US as well. In the UK, ⅔ of black Britons said that the NHS favors white Britons over black Britons. With education, there is a clear showing in the US that schools with a majority of minority students do not get the needed funding. There is also lots evidence showing a clear school to prison pipeline that affects black students more than white students. With the final group’s presentation, it opened my eyes up to the disparities black people face everyday in systems that they should be able to trust that they simply cannot.

My time at BCU was such an informative and fun environment to be in! I would have seriously applied here if I considered going to school overseas. The staff and faculty were quite nice to us throughout our time at BCU! While our time in England is dwindling down, our time at BCU has come to an end. So, thank you to all of the BCU faculty who gave us lectures during our time here! I hope to possibly see you guys again in the future!

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