"You know, people from culturally diverse backgrounds are finding it very difficult to fit in the mainstream... it's a challenging area... and stigma, it's a huge thing. If we have more people representing communities... we may find a way to talk about mental health issues openly."
Reference: Mental Health in Multicultural Australia (MHiMA). (2012). National consultations, March. Video.
One of the biggest challenges facing providers of cultural, social and primary health services is empowering people from immigrant and refugee backgrounds, their families and communities, around mental health issues; finding ways to build awareness about mental health, about the services that are available and facilitate access of these services.
Practitioners and leaders within mental health services are working to enhance the way they respond to people from diverse backgrounds. We also know that local councils, ethnic community groups, migration and refugee support and settlement services and faith-based organisations, small and large, play vital roles in supporting the mental health, spiritual and emotional well-being of countless individuals and families.
By working together, we can respond to our increasingly diverse communities, provide culturally meaningful support and link individuals and families with the mental health and other services that they need.
MHiMA is committed to supporting the work of community-based organisations.
Looking for information?
Community-based organisations providing people from immigrant and refugee backgrounds, families and communities with a range of health, social, cultural and faith-based supports may find the following information useful:
- Mental health services
- Multicultural and community organisations
- Language services
- Service provider directories
- Translated mental health information
- Service and community development
- Education and training
For articles, reports, fact sheets on a range of topics, practice and organisational guidelines and tools, policies, plan and frameworks browse MHiMA's knowledge exchange.
The Framework for Mental Health in Multicultural Australia: Towards culturally inclusive service delivery aims to provide public, private and community mental health services with easy-to-use practical strategies, tools and resources that will increase their cultural responsiveness. Go to the Framework website.
Ways to get involved in the MHiMA project
Join a MHiMA Forum
From time-to-time MHiMA convenes forums that enable consumers, carers, health and community practitioners to share perspectives on different issues related to multicultural mental health. Our first forum, the CALD communities engagement forum, closed in May 2013. Look out for future notifications about new forums via our website or register with our database for updates.
Help us develop MHiMA's knowledge exchange
MHiMA's knowledge exchange gives you quick access to the best available online information, tools and resources all with a focus on mental health and suicide prevention in multicultural Australia.
We've started by cataloguing the resources that have been available on the MHiMA website since we began in 2011 and adding new resources. We are also providing regular snapshots of new literature.
As it evolves, we will provide opportunities to collaborate and communicate with other health and community practitioners, and share information about education, services and programs across Australia. Please have a browse...