Issue 03 | December 2012| www.mhima.org.au


Message from the Executive Officer
The work of MHiMA is now gathering pace and momentum following our national consultations in early 2012. That journey resulted in our strategic plan from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2014 entitled 'Building Capacity & Supporting Inclusion'.

2013 promises to be an exciting time as we complete the recruitment process for our national Consumer & Carer groups. It will also be the start of MHiMA releasing a number of important policy briefs in the areas of data collection and promotion, prevention and early intervention. The MHiMA website will also be revamped and the second edition of the newsletter will be available next year. Work is also underway with state and territory representatives around the development of a new Multicultural Mental Health Framework.

In addition, some of the work we have been doing with Beyond Blue in the perinatal area and around collecting information in relation to effective engagement with CALD groups will also be available soon.

On behalf of the MHiMA Executive and Staff Team I take this opportunity to thank everyone for their engagement, contributions and support in 2012. We wish you a safe and happy festive break; and a Happy New Year for 2013.

With best wishes,

Hamza Vayani
MHiMA Executive Officer


A new framework for mental health in multicultural Australia MHiMA is developing a new concept framework for mental health in multicultural Australia as part of its work in the policy development and implementation domain. The new framework builds on the previous Australian multicultural mental health framework (2004), as part of the National Mental Health Strategy.

The new framework will provide a web based resource and planning tool for mental health service providers within government, private practice and community services wishing to improve their service delivery to CALD consumers and carers including equitable outcomes in access and quality of treatment and care. 

It will be closely aligned with Commonwealth, state and territory based legislation, policies and plans related to mental health, suicide prevention and the multicultural field. It will also incorporate priorities identified during the MHiMA consultations held earlier this year and current research outcomes.

The framework will build on a self-assessment process that incorporates state/territory and national cultural competency tools for mental health services. Performance measures and indicators for different performance levels will be part of the implementation strategy. 

Consultations regarding the framework are currently underway. For more information please contact: Saskia De Vries, MHiMA Project Officer at Queensland Transcultural Mental Health Centre: (07) 3167 8319 or saskia@mhima.org.au.

National Mental Health Commission releases National Report Card A Contributing Life: the 2012 National Report Card on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. This first Report Card casts an independent eye over how we as a nation support the estimated 3.2 million Australians each year who live with a mental health difficulty, their families and support people, and how we provide and co-ordinate the services they need. View the report in full here.

COAG has released a Ten Year Roadmap for National Mental Health Reform 2012-2022 The roadmap sets out next steps and a process to: improve access to data, develop indicators and targets and develop a successor to the Fourth National Mental Health Plan. To access the roadmap, please see here.

Articles & Reports

Mental health impacts of racial discrimination in Victorian CALD communities This summary outlines a study that explored the relation between experiences of racism and mental health and an innovative community intervention developed in response to these findings. For more information please see here.

Resilience and Its Association with Depression, Emotional and Behavioural Problems, and Mental Health Service Utilisation among Refugee Adolescents Living in South Australia A recent study by Ziaian and colleagues, published in the International Journal of Population Research, explored psychological resilience in adolescents from refugee backgrounds. Females and adolescents who had been living in Australia longer were shown to have higher resilience. However, in comparison with the general population, resilience scores were lower for the participants in the current study and were more comparable to scores found in patients with generalised anxiety disorder.

The utilisation of mental health services by children and young people from a refugee background: a systematic literature review The literature review highlights that research priority should be put on the seriously neglected topic of mental health services utilisation for children and young people from a refugee background, including barriers or facilitators to their access. Although countries of resettlement, such as Australia have introduced several policies and programs for this group of people, they are guided by limited evidence.

In Brief

WA Transcultural Mental Health - Call for Abstracts is now open The Local Organising Committee are pleased to announce the Call for Abstracts for the 4th WA Transcultural Mental Health and 2nd Australasian Refugee Conference are now open. Abstracts will be accepted on various themes and can also be submitted as a symposium. Please visit the abstract submission page of the conference website to upload your abstract submission template prior to submitting your abstract.

Mental Health Consumer Organisation is now underway According to the scoping study to inform the establishment of a new peak national mental health consumer organisation, “the broad purpose for the mental health consumer organisation is to bring together a diversity of mental health consumers and mental health consumer organisations and groups enabling them to work collaboratively towards achieving a shared national vision leading to improved quality of life, social justice and inclusion”.