Authors: Western Region Health Centre (WRHC), Western Region Outreach Service (part of WRHC)
Event: 2006 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: VIC
Award level: Winner
Award category: Exceptional Contribution to Mental Health Services in Australia or New Zealand
Abstract: Ms Ngoc-Anh Nguyen has been working for almost 12 years in the Psychiatric Disability Rehabilitation Support Service (PDRSS) sector in Melbourne as a bi-lingual mental health outreach worker. She has made a remarkable contribution in developing a unique Vietnamese model of working with people experiencing a psychiatric disability as a result of mental illness, their carers, family members, and the community. This model is known as Dung Hop, a model that is family and community based that reflects Vietnamese values and culture. As well as providing individual outreach services, Ngoc-Anh has also successfully established and effectively maintains a range of innovative creative programs targeting the Vietnamese community in the western metropolitan region of Melbourne, examples include, the Marriage Enhancement Program, Children’s Homework Group, Women’s Group, Family Outings, Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) Tutoring Program and the Young Volunteers Group. In early 1994, Ngoc-Anh was employed as a part time project worker with Western Region Outreach Service based in Footscray which has a large concentration of Vietnamese background population. In many ways, Ngoc-Anh has been a pioneer and has paved a path for mental health services to address the needs of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) consumers within their communities, in particular her own ethnic community. Ngoc-Anh’s position became full time in 1998. Through strong collaborative work with different mental health agencies (both clinical and PDRSS) and the Vietnamese community agencies, Ngoc-Anh has successfully developed the model of the Vietnamese Program, Dung Hop. Dung Hop is an eclectic merging of PDRSS Principles and the Vietnamese Collectivist Philosophical Principles suggesting a harmonious and balanced way to provide support for her clients and their support systems. The written text of this model and some of its applications to the success of the Vietnamese Program can be found at www.wrhc.com.au Ngoc-Anh has also shown us ways to think outside the square and to creatively make the system work for those in need. Ngoc Anh continues to challenge the ‘western’ style frameworks of Department Human Service (DHS) funded programs that often focus on the individual, particularly when it comes to data collection and geographical boundaries, by emphasizing the importance of working across boundaries with both family and community. She continues to seek recognition from funding bodies that key indicators and outcomes are often different for individuals from CALD communities. Description of Facility/Organisation:
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