Authors: Mark Loughhead, SA
Event: 2003 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Language & Spiritual Wellness
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to report on current research into the area of community participation in transcultural training for mental health workers. In recent years, there have been significant calls for the increase of consumer led training and education for mental health workers. Various reports have detailed many strategies for including consumers as key partners and ‘teachers’ in developing knowledge, educational content, delivery methods other learning methods (Epstein and Shaw, 1997; Mental Health Council of Australia, 2000). Consumer led training has been characterised by the themes of inclusion and normalisation, valuing experiential- lived experience of illness and health as a basis of knowledge, consideration of the whole person, valuing personal identity and history, improving communication and, therapeutic relationships (Deakin Human Services Australia, 1999). This research paper, discusses these themes in the transcultural training context and highlights how consumers from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds have a strong role to play in influencing training content and the worker education process. This discussion pays particular attention to the issue of community and professional knowledge, noting how education processes may be developed to include knowledge from community members and professionals in complimentary ways (see also, Aylward, 2001).