"At staff meetings we can discuss how we are working with clients and their families and explore this together..."
"The mental health sector needs to reach out to the community sector... to form links when needed... in a crisis and as part of ongoing care..."
"Perhaps our service is one of the jigsaw pieces... we need to share responsibility... with other services..."
"We need to review systems within our services, to ensure that people coming to the service will continue to attend."
Reference: Stolk, Y., Kouzma, N., Chopra, P., Oehm, D., & Minas, H. (2011). Cultural competence training in mental health. Fitzroy: Victorian Transcultural Psychiatry Unit.
Becoming culturally responsive
Cultural responsiveness is the capacity to respond to the health care of diverse communities. For providers of mental health services, cultural responsiveness is a goal for individual practitioners and the agency as a whole.
It means being aware of one's own attitudes, values and beliefs, understanding the relationships between culture and mental health and having the skills and confidence to act on this knowledge.
Want to learn more about cultural responsiveness in mental health settings? Go to education and training.
Silvana Izzo, occupational therapist, educator, member of the Victorian Transcultural Mental Health team
Looking for information?
Health practitioners working with people from immigrant or refugee backgrounds experiencing emotional problems or mental ill health, their carers, family members and communities may find the following information useful:
For articles, reports, fact sheets, practice guidelines and tools and other published information on a range of topics, 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 early May 2013. Look out for future forums via our website or register with our data base to receive updates.
Help 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. As it evolves, we will provide opportunities to collaborate and communicate with other health and community practitioners, and share information about education, services as programs across Australia. Please have a browse.