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Issue 07 | May 2014|

From the Executive Officer

I am pleased to confirm that funding for MHiMA will continue post 1 July 2014, however, how much funding we will receive for the forthcoming financial year and what our priority work areas will be have not been finalised. I will provide more information in a separate update once the MHiMA Executive has made firm decisions about future directions.

In shaping our future work program MHiMA will be mindful of the need to optimise the resources that we have. We want to work toward outcome based improvements, gains that ensure consumers, carers and families are able to access culturally responsive care through the various mental health services that exist across Australia. We will do this by strengthening existing partnerships and building new ones.

The National Mental Health Commission's review of mental health services is well underway and, last week, the Commonwealth Government handed down its budget in the context of work undertaken by the Commission of Audit. While I was able to attend the budget lock-up and announcements about mental health were made, the real detail about broader mental health policy and reform directions will gradually become clearer over the coming 12 months. As such, now is the time to build on and utilise sector wisdom and knowledge and find ways to translate policy intent into transformative outcomes that will equip all mental health services to respond to an increasingly diverse Australian community. It is essential that information about CALD population outcomes is clearly communicated and feature in the final report of the review.

MHiMA has highlighted the need for better data collection related to the mental health of Australia's culturally diverse population. A better understanding of costs and outcomes will, in turn, improve service effectiveness and efficiency. We envisage that the new Framework will be a key way to drive improvements in CALD data collection and service delivery.

A draft multicultural mental health workforce strategy has just been released for sector consultation. It is my view is that supporting the development of a workforce, equipped to advance culturally responsive care, is critical to sustaining improvements in mental health system capacity across Australia. Suicide prevention guidelines are also due to be released shortly and I would like to thank everyone who contributed to their development.

Yours in health and well-being.

Hamza Vayani


Project Updates

MHiMA has joined Facebook
Mental Health in Multicultural Australia has joined Facebook. For updates, latest news, interesting links and articles please visit our page and hit like!

Suicide first aid guidelines for people of migrant and refugee backgrounds
The soon to be released Suicide first aid guidelines for people from migrant and refugee backgrounds incorporates the findings of a recent consensus study. MHiMA is currently finalising the design of the resource and associated education materials.The National Suicide Prevention Conference is holding a Pre-Conference Workshop on Tuesday 22 July 2014, 11.00 am - 5.00 pm in Perth. Sponsored by Mental Health in Multicultural Australia, this workshop is for individuals representing suicide prevention organisations or migrant and refugee agencies that could implement these new suicide first aid guidelines as part of their current or future activities. Read more….

MHiMA in the media
Finding Our Way, stories created by people from migrant and refugee backgrounds living with emotional and mental health issues are continuing to generate a lot of interest. The story of Maria's involvement, was profiled in the Hume Leader last month. Watch out for more newspaper stories in coming weeks. Links to articles will be available from on MHiMA's facebook.

Translated mental health information on the MHiMA website
MHiMA will be removing some translated mental health information from the website in coming weeks. This will include resources developed prior to 2011 by Multicultural Mental Health Australia (MMHA) with the National Mental Health Strategy (Commonwealth Government of Australia) and other archive material. This decision has been made following discussion with government and sector representatives. Read more...

Project News in Depth                                

Improving the cultural responsiveness of mental health services via a new online Framework
The new national Framework for Mental Health in Multicultural Australia, recently launched by MHiMA, is being well received by services around the country. The purpose of the Framework is to improve service delivery for CALD consumers and carers by translating existing principles and standards into clear, practical and achievable strategies that can be implemented at an organisation’s own pace.

The Framework is an online resource that can be accessed at: www.mhima.org.au/framework and consists of three integrated components. Read more...


Sector News

Refugee health information and research
A recent e-bulletin of Victorian Refugee Health Network includes some helpful updates on Australian asylum seeker policy: reduction in legal support for asylum seekers; temporary humanitarian stay visa (subclass 449) update; keeping track of Australian humanitarian policy changes. Go to this website to register to receive regular updates. The Network has also developed a page that catalogues current refugee health research projects.  Current research projects which have passed institutional ethics committee processes will be summarised here to assist with collaboration between researchers, practitioners and refugee communities.

Facts and statistics about suicide in Australia
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its Causes of Death, Australia, 2012 data on Tuesday 25th March 2014. Mindframe has updated summary information for the general population and information about priority populations groups - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and Culturally Diverse populations.


Up coming events
The Cultural Diversity in Ageing 2014 Conference: Shaping Inclusive Services
The Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing will host its biennial Conference on 12-13 June at the Melbourne Convention Centre.
Suicide Prevention Australia will host the conference at the Pan Pacific Perth Hotel, 23-26 July 2014, plus pre-conference workshops on 22 July.
Knowledge Exchange                                

New to the collection

These new titles have recently been added to the collection:

- Appointment Reminder Translation Tool

- Asylum seeker information sheet for Victorian health services

- Cross-cultural Mental Health Care: A Resource Kit for GPs and Mental Health Professionals

- Effective translations: Victorian government guidelines on policies and procedures

- From Horror to Hope: Addressing domestic violence in refugee communities resettled in Australia

- Medicare local online resources

- Mind matters: Policy paper

- "Nothing for them": Understanding the support needs of LGBT young people from refugee and newly arrived backgrounds

- Refugee mental health bibliography

- Using interpreter services: Victorian government guidelines on policies and procedures

- Victorian Government Standards for Data Collection on Interpreting and Translating Services

- Women's health: Position statement

What's new in the literature?

We regularly read and review items published in Australian and international journals. We've just updated our lists of selected items published in March and April 2014. For more information go to What's new in the literature? We welcome offers from readers to review articles or any other new resource. Selected contributions will appear on the MHiMA website.

New books and reviews

By the end of 2013, we had presented nine books reviewed in 2013. We've already added two new books to the 2014 list. Please browse and please let us know about other new books related to multicultural mental health and suicide prevention.