From the Executive Officer
We are entering into the last funded financial year of the MHiMA project, and looking forward to launching more key MHiMA initiatives.
The Framework for Mental Health in Multicultural Australia, a resource designed to guide improvement in the provision of mental health care to all Australians, is nearing completion. Thank you to everyone who provided targeted and general feedback on the draft and please read on for more news about our progress.
A new beyondblue resource for health practitioners working with women and families from CALD backgrounds experiencing mental ill-health in the perinatal period has just been published. MHiMA’s role in developing this resource is discussed in this month’s feature article.
We are also pleased to have launched the revamped MHiMA website. We hope that you find it more interactive, informative and easier to use. We’ve added a lot of new information and a whole new area devoted to sharing information and ideas. It’s called ‘Knowledge Exchange’ and we welcome your feedback.
Our engagement with key organisations, including beyondblue and the National Mental Health Commission, continues. Thank you to those who participated in recent consultations activities, especially the health and community professionals and consumers and carers who took the time to join our online forum and other discussions on anxiety and depression. We are happy to be able to share some preliminary information here ahead of the release of a more comprehensive report.
Work is also progressing on developing a culturally responsive mental health research agenda and assisting health practitioners around the country to form networks.
As you can see, engaging and working with a range of people and organisations is crucial for MHiMA. I hope you enjoy reading about our progress and the many ways in which people are getting involved.
Once again, many thanks for all your participation and feedback in recent months.
Executive Officer, MHiMA
MHiMA project updates
A national research agenda
Australia needs a research agenda for mental health and
suicide prevention for people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD)
backgrounds. MHiMA is addressing this gap by leading a project that will
develop an agreed set of research questions relevant to immigrant and refugee
mental health. We are using expert consensus methods to build on work, already
undertaken, concerning the mental health and well-being of people of refugee background....
Engaging CALD communities online forum
The ‘Engaging CALD Communities Online Forum’, a joint initiative of
MHiMA and beyondblue, was open for 22
days during April and May. People from a wide range of backgrounds, disciplines
and regions from across Australia,
working in mental health, shared their perspectives on effective ways to engage
with CALD consumers, families and communities. Participants discussed six topics that
helped generate a depth of conversation. A total of 178 people registered for
the forum, of whom 94 (52%) logged in. Of these, 40 individual participants made a total
of 116 posts....
A new-look website for MHiMA
can now explore the MHiMA website by going to one of the four icons on the homepage that appeals to
you. There is an entry point for consumers, carers
and family members, another for people working in community organisations, one
for health practitioners and also one for agency leaders and managers. Each one
opens to a single page that links to
other parts of the website. We’ve also revised and updated
information right across the site....
MHiMA Framework update
During May and June 2013 the draft Framework for Mental Health
in Multicultural Australia: Towards Culturally Inclusive Service Delivery was
available via the MHiMA website for
consultation in the form of a survey. We would like to thank everyone who
participated and provided feedback. Your input is highly valued and will be used to improve
the final version due for release in August 2013....
Perinatal mental health of CALD women: a resource for health professionals
recently produced a new information guide to assist health practitioners working
with women in the perinatal period, from the period of conception to a year or
so after the baby’s birth. Women from CALD backgrounds are particularly vulnerable to
developing emotional distress or mental health disorders in the perinatal
period and they often do not receive the care they need.
Australia has a culturally and linguistically diverse
population with approximately 27 % of the estimated resident population born
overseas. In the coming years, Australia’s population is poised to remain
strongly multicultural, multi-faith and multilingual. The new beyondblue resource, Perinatal mental health of women from
culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds: A guide for primary
care health professionals will assist practitioners to provide
culturally-appropriate and safe perinatal emotional and mental health care for
women of immigrant or refugee background and their families during the
perinatal period. Read more....
-The Suicide and self-harm in the immigration
detention network report was released on 21 May by the Commonwealth Ombudsman's Office. Please note that the
report contains information that
some readers may find confronting or disturbing.
this year Living is for Everyone (LIFE), National Suicide Prevention Strategy
hosted an Expert Insights session by Professor
Paul Yip from the University
of Hong Kong on The effects of cultural factors on
suicidality. While the 'call for questions' period for this online
discussion has finished, comments and responses can still be viewed here.
-The latest issue of Forced Migration Review, issue 42, discusses issues
arising for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (GLBTI) refugees,
asylum seekers, internally displaced people and forced migrants. It is
available in French, Spanish and Arabic and can be accessed here.
-The Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria has
launched a new policy research paper, Women surviving violence: Cultural
competence in critical services. View here or download it from MHIMA’s knowledge
-The Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health
(MCWH), in partnership with
Turning Point Drug and Alcohol Centre
in Victoria, is
to increase the capacity of young people and their parents from immigrant and
refugee communities to reduce the risk of alcohol-related harm. For more
information visit MCWH’s website.
What's new in the literature?
MHiMA team regularly reads what is being published in Australian and
international journals. Each month, we will list some articles that caught our
attention. View here to see what was new in April and May 2013.
You are invited to write a
review or summary related to one of these new articles or any other new
resource. If you would like to get involved, please go to contact us and give us some feedback. Selected contributions will appear on the MHiMA website and newsletter.