S09: We don’t like the word ‘mental:’ Promoting Mental Wellbeing in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities.

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By September 4, 2019 No Comments

Authors: Doris Sant

Year: 2019

Event: 2019 TheMHS Conference

Subject: We don’t like the word ‘mental:’ Promoting Mental Wellbeing in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities.

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers



Doris Sant, Population Health and Community Partnerships Coordinator, North West Area Mental Health Service. Doris is passionate about addressing health inequalities and building healthier communities using community development/health promotion approaches. She has a B.A in Youth Affairs and a Post Graduate Diploma in Health Promotion with over 25 years’ experience.

The Promoting Mental Wellbeing in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities (CALD) Project was undertaken by North West Area Mental Health Service and community partners over two years. The project aimed to collaboratively strengthen the capacity of these vulnerable and socio-economically disadvantaged CALD communities to improve their mental wellbeing. The project reviewed international research about modifiable psycho-social determinants of mental well-being with a view to making this important health information accessible to CALD communities. A range of creative processes were employed to engage the local communities and to form partnerships with ten organisations across different sectors. Consultations with community members provided a two-way means of discussing actions to improve their individual wellbeing and validated the acceptability of an existing mental health promotion campaign encompassing their suggestions. Importantly, the consultations enabled key messages of the campaign to be adapted to be more accessible to a culturally diverse communities. The second stage of this project has been completed with the development of new campaign resources incorporating these adaptions and with the ambition of reaching a broader audience. This presentation will describe some of the processes used, showcase some of the co-developed resources produced and share important insights that were gained.

Learning Objectives

Learning Objective 1: Session participants will also take away knowledge about the 5 Ways to Wellbeing Australia campaign, its benefits and application for improving and maintaining good mental health of individuals - inclusive of service users, their families, professionals and Australian communities.

Learning Objective 2: With 45% of Australians expected to experience a mental illness in their life-time, treatment is not a viable option to rely on and as such services look for innovative non-stigmatising ways to support communities to be healthy.


1. World Health Organization and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Social determinants of mental health. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2014.

2. Health literacy: enabling communication and participation in health, State of Victoria Department of Health Background Paper, 2013 www.health.vic.gov.au/consumer

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