Issue 01 | September 2012| www.mhima.org.au


Dear Readers,
Welcome to our first edition of the Mental Health in Multicultural Australia (MHiMA) e-bulletin. This will be a bi-weekly bulletin focusing on news and events relevant to CALD mental health issues. I trust it holds something of interest for everyone!

Tarna Komaric


MHiMA CALD Consumer and Carer Working Groups.
MHiMA is seeking Expressions of Interest for a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) Consumer Working Group and a CALD Carer Working Group. The Working Groups will provide advice and represent the views and interests of mental health consumers and carers from migrant and refugee backgrounds at a national level. If you have lived experience of mental illness, are from a CALD background (or care for someone who is from a CALD background), and want to contribute to a national agenda on multicultural mental health, we want to hear from you. Further information, including an application form, will be available on the MHiMA website shortly. For more information, please contact Amy Baker: amy@mhima.org.au or (08) 8302 2643.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released a new report.
The National Health Data Dictionary (NHDD) 2012 version 16. The NHDD provides national standards for the broader health sector. This update reflects changes to data standards between 1 July 2010 and 30 April 2012.

Report of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers released on 13 August 2012.
In late June 2012 the Prime Minister convened an Expert Panel of three individuals to “provide advice to the Government on policy options available...to prevent asylum seekers risking their lives on dangerous boat journeys to Australia. The Panel’s report, a summary of the Panel's recommendations and information about the Panel members can be found here:

Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement (ATCR) in Geneva in July and release of UNHCR's Global Resettlement Needs 2013 report.
More than 200 representatives of governments, UNHCR, IOM and NGOs from 30 countries attended the ATCR in Geneva this July, and for the first time refugee representatives were invited. Ahmed Dini, a 24-year-old Somali-Australian who is Victorian Local Hero for 2012 was amongst them. The meeting built on the work of the Working Group on Resettlement, hosted in Melbourne in February 2012. UNHCR's Global Resettlement Needs 2013 report, released to coincide with the event, estimates that 859,305 people will be in need of resettlement in coming years. Of these, 180,676 will be in need of resettlement in 2013. Globally, there are an estimated 80,000 to 85,000 resettlement places available in 2013.

Boost to Settlement Services for new migrants and refugees.
The Federal Government's latest round of settlement grants reinforces its commitment to help newly arrived migrants and refugees become self-reliant and successfully settle in Australia, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, and Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Senator Kate Lundy, said on Wednesday 20 June 2012. Read more...

National CALD Aged Care Strategy announced.
The Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, has announced the development of a new, specific, national CALD aged care reform strategy before the end of 2012. The new CALD strategy will aim to ensure the application of the recently announced Department of Health and Ageing – Living Longer, Living Better reform package is culturally inclusive, as will be all other future aged care policies and practices. The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) will coordinate the strategy in consultation with other CALD aged care sector organisations. Read more....

Social Inclusion in Australia - How Australia is Faring, 2nd Edition.
How Australia is faring tracks Australia’s progress against a range of social inclusion indicators. It looks at how we’re performing in relation to health and disability, employment, financial stress, education, access to services, housing, feelings of safety and engagement in community activities. Read more on the Social Inclusion website.

In Brief

It is national Mental Health Week during 7-13 October, 2012. Mental Health Week is all about raising awareness of mental health and wellbeing in the wider community.  A critical part of reducing stigma to support those with a mental illness (and their carers); is public awareness and an understanding that mental illness, like mental health, is part of the human condition.

Australian Government announces increase in refugee intake, from 13,750 per year to 20,000. Please see ABC's coverage.

GREENS move to establish expert health care panel for Refugees in offshore detention. The Australian Greens announced that they will introduce a bill in the Senate to establish an independent panel of expert physicians to oversee the health and mental health of asylum seekers and refugees in indefinite offshore detention. "The Expert Health Care Panel proposed by the Greens will add some humanity to an otherwise inhumane policy" said Greens' immigration spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. "The Government should back the Greens' proposal for independent specialised health oversight if it is interested in limiting the harm caused to refugees and their children by dumping them indefinitely on Nauru and Manus Island.