The MHiMA Project provides a national focus for advice and support to providers and governments on mental health and suicide prevention for people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. This involves representation and support for CALD communities’ interests in the mental health sector and raising awareness of mental illness and suicide prevention in CALD communities.
Mental Health Australia has been engaged by the Department of Health to manage the MHiMA Project until 31 December 2016. Key tasks during this timeframe include analysing the activities, arrangements and outputs of the most recent Project (to 30 June 2015, managed by another entity), and making recommendations to the Australian Government Department of Health about future directions for the MHiMA Project. In late March 2016 Mental Health Australia submitted a recommendations report to the Department of Health about the future of the Project. Government is currently considering the findings from this report. From July 2016 the Project will enter an interim maintenance stage that only allows for limited project activities.
Mental Health Australia will continue to communicate and work with the mental health and CALD sectors in the coming months. We hope that by providing ongoing support and continuing to try and inject CALD issues into the national policy agenda during this interim stage, we have the best chance of securing a longer term future for the project.
Some of the Project activities Mental Health Australia has progressed to date include:
- Establishing and engaging with a Project Advisory Group that includes representation of all jurisdictions, CALD consumers and carers, and CALD views and expertise outside of the mental health sector.
- Submitting a recommendations report to the Department of Health about the future of the Project.
- Continuing engagement with the National CALD Consumer and Carer Working Group, including seeking their views on the future of the MHiMA Project and national mental health reform initiatives.
- Finalising a review of the Framework for Mental Health in Multicultural Australia, including an examination of its structure, delivery and sustainability, and recommendations for future delivery and implementation.
- A national public consultation on the future of the MHiMA project.
Regular MHiMA Project updates are provided through the Mental Health Australia CEO Weekly Update (free subscription).