Any Psych nurse comments before I get on my soap box?A senior monitor of mental health patients' interests has warned of "a kind of apartheid" in the system.
Lord Patel of Bradford, chairman of the Mental Health Act Commission, told the BBC that institutional racism in the service needed to be addressed.
He said it could be one reason why some black groups were 18 times more likely to be in psychiatric care.
But the government said improving black people's confidence in mental health services was "a top priority".
Lord Patel said it had to be established why there was an over-representation of black people in psychiatric care.
Otherwise, he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We're going to have a situation where we'll have segregation.
"We'll have those that live on the margins of society, feeling more hopelessness than they do now.
"A kind of apartheid will happen in the next 10 to 20 years. It's going to get worse. We have to deal with it very strongly."
Professor Louis Appleby, the government's National Director of Mental Health, said: "We are working hard to win the trust and confidence of BME (black minority ethnic) communities, and community engagement is a key part of our action plan.
"This is key to better understanding the wider social factors that result in some communities experiencing a higher rate of mental illness.
"Our drive to improve care will remain a top priority until BME patients report better experiences of mental health services ."
Experts estimate black people are three to 10 times more likely to be diagnosed as schizophrenic and less likely to be diagnosed with depression.
They are also more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act and to be given medication, rather than "talking" therapies.
David Rocky Bennett, a black mental health patient, died in 1998 after being restrained at a Norfolk clinic.
An inquiry into the incident concluded that institutional racism was "a festering abscess, a blot on the good name of the NHS".
Following this, the government pledged to "eradicate discrimination" in NHS mental health care.