Authors: Emma Wynne Bannister, Maggie Toko, Jake McLaughlan, Aanchal White, Ling He, Melissa Petrakis, Grace Sook Ryu, Gill Graham, Aram Kim, Boris Arora, Hannah Lee, Ivy Liang, Gloria Gao, Vishal Rishi, Maggie Ma, Monica McEvoy, Baran Jafari & Asif Mir
Event: 2023 The MHS conference - Adelaide
Subject: Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Populations
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Presentation 1: Translating resources for multicultural communities: an exercise in co-production
Authors: Emma Wynne Bannister, Maggie Toko, Jake McLaughlan & Aanchal White
The Mental Health Complaints Commissioner (MHCC) was established under the Mental Health Act 2014  with the purpose of safeguarding people’s rights and resolving complaints about the Victorian public mental health services. As a result, the MHCC is committed to upholding the human rights enshrined in the mental health principles of the Act.
Among them is a commitment that persons receiving mental health services should have their individual needs recognised and responded to. To make this right a reality, the MHCC and people with lived experience from multicultural communities have co-produced  a variety of resources in English, as well as languages other than English to make our services more accessible to all Victorians.
Beyond the co-production of resources, this collaboration also allowed the MHCC to become aware of areas in which its communications could be strengthened. For example, it became clear that some people from migrant and multicultural communities were unaware the MHCC takes complaints from people regardless of whether they are permanent residents or citizens.
As an outcome of this collaboration, digital and print resources have been produced in 21 languages through community approved translations that ensure that the translations are culturally and linguistically appropriate for each community.
This presentation will provide a description of the co-production of culturally appropriate communications resources. This presentation will also highlight some findings that arose from the process and the value of the partnership with multicultural communities to ensure the resources met their needs and were informed by lived experience.
1. Mental Health Act 2014 (Vic), Mental Health Act 2014 (legislation.vic.gov.au).
2. Mental Health Complaints Commissioner (2022) Lived Experience Engagement Checklist [Online] Available on: Lived Experience Engagement Checklist | Single Digital Presence Content Management System (mhcc.vic.gov.au)
Presentation 2: Spiritual Diversity in Personal Recovery from Mental Health Challenges: A Qualitative Study from Chinese-Australian Perspectives
Authors: Ling He & Melissa Petrakis
Spirituality in personal recovery has received growing concerns in the mental health field. However, the spiritual views and perspectives of people from culturally marginalized communities are underexplored. This presentation aims to provide an overview of the first research conducted in Australia on Chinese-Australian mental health service users’ views and perspectives on their spiritual identities and the roles of spirituality in recovery. The presentation will explain how the presented findings attempt to inspire mental health practitioners to engage with service users’ spirituality in practice.
Semi-structured interviews with four Chinese mental health service users supported the presented qualitative exploratory research. The results indicate that spirituality positively impacts the participants’ mental health recovery, primarily through coping, self-regulatory, and social support mechanisms that may relate to their culture, values, and personal experience. The findings also indicate that Chinese service users’ understanding and approaches to spirituality are shaped by both original and Australian Cultures.
The presented research fills a gap in the spiritual views of Chinese-Australian service users, which provides a practical reference for the service workforce’s interactions with ethnically diverse service users with spiritual identities and is beneficial in promoting equality, respect, and human rights in mental health service practice.
How Chinese-Australian mental health service users’ culture, values, and personal experiences that may associate with migration experience influence their understanding and perceptions of spirituality and its role in recovery.
How workers could better engage with the spirituality of mental health users from multicultural backgrounds to support their recovery.
Ho, R. T., Chan, C. K., Lo, P. H., Wong, P. H., Chan, C. L., Leung, P. P., & Chen, E. Y. (2016). Understandings of spirituality and its role in illness recovery in persons with schizophrenia and mental-health professionals: a qualitative study. BMC Psychiatry, 16, 86.
He, L., & Petrakis, M. (2023). Spiritual Diversity in Personal Recovery from Mental Health Challenges: A Qualitative Study from Chinese-Australian Service Users’ Perspectives. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20(3), 2210.
Presentation 3: Healthy Mother Healthy Future Project for Asian & Ethnic Perinatal Mental Health and Wellbeing
Authors: Grace Sook Ryu, Gill Graham, Aram Kim, Boris Arora, Hannah Lee, Ivy Liang, Gloria Gao, Vishal Rishi & Maggie Ma
Asian pregnant women and postnatal mothers with infants often face various challenges such as: depression, anxiety, family violence, difficult in-laws relationship, lack of family or community support, prejudice about mental health issues, social isolation, poor mental health literacy due to cultural and language barriers etc. COVID-19 pandemic had been creating considerable uncertainties and challenges for many families as well. The Asian population was the fastest growing ethnic group according to the 2018 Census. It is projected to reach 26% of the total population in Aotearoa by 2043. However Asians have significantly lower rates of access to Maternal Mental Health (MMH) services and other Mental Health & Addiction services. Funded by the Ministry of Health (MoH) NZ, leading by AHS and collaborating with stakeholders, Healthy Mother Healthy Future (HMHF) Project targets mainly on the perinatal mental health and wellbeing of Asian & ethnic people in Auckland. In 2022, culturally & linguistically appropriate resources in 14 languages were developed, 19 workshops were organized for Asian communities and health professionals with 992 attendees, 960 perinatal women and their families were supported with excellent feedback. This project received high endorsement from the MoH with increased MMH referrals with improved pathways and innovative assessment tools.
This presentation aims to demonstrate the development and main achievements of the Healthy Mother Healthy Future (HMHF) Project with key findings and further recommendations to contribute to equitable access to cultural appropriate, co-designed high quality maternal mental health services for Asian & ethnic communities.
Howard, L. M. & Khalifeh, H. (2020). Perinatal mental health: A review of progress and challenges. World Psychiatry, 19 (3), 313– 327.
Austin, M-P, Highet, N. and the Expert Working Group (2017). Mental Health Care in the Perinatal Period: Australian Clinical Practice Guideline. Melbourne: Centre of Perinatal Excellence.
Presentation 4: 'Feel free, don't be shy to come to CAMHS'
Authors: Monica McEvoy, Baran Jafari & Asif Mir
Over half of Australia’s population were born overseas or have at least one parent who was, and a quarter of Australians come from a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) background.
Pre-arrival conditions and events, transit and settlement experience, occurrences of discrimination and racism, intersecting identities, as well as any underlying vulnerabilities increase the risk of mental health distress and illness for CALD consumers. Likewise mental health distress can be compounded by experiences of stigma, different understandings of mental illness, and mental health service systems – if they were available at all in their countries of origin. Distress can be further compounded as individuals and their families are not familiar with early warning signs, or it is only when there is a crisis that they are offered any service.
Achieving equity remains one of the challenges for mainstream mental health seeking to provide care to members of marginalised communities. South Australian CAMHS works with members of newly arrived communities and key organisations to develop pathways and provide culturally responsive care. Most recently this has including developing messages in four community languages about where to get help for mental health concerns and how to access CAMHS.
The paper brings together consumer advocates with clinicians who lead CAMHS Multicultural Mental Health work and will speak to
- the experiences of CALD consumer advocates contributing to a project to promote/promoting the availability of mental health care for their community and their experience of what makes a service accessible and compassionate
- the bridging role of multicultural mental health clinicians in creating pathways within their service and partnerships with CALD community agencies as well as leading in the provision of multicultural mental health care/responses
- the challenges in preparing messages for translation that recognise different understandings of mental health and illness across cultures, are sensitive to stigma and are consistent with the service’s overall messaging
Increased understanding of the challenges and strategies in address equity for marginalised communities for mainstream mental health services Demonstrating partnership / co design
Access and Equity for a multicultural Australia; Inquiry into the responsiveness of Australian Government services to Australia’s culturally & linguistically diverse population, Access and Equity Inquiry Panel June 2012 Access and Equity Inquiry Report 2012 (embracementalhealth.org.au)
Reema Harrison PhD, et al, Beyond translation: Engaging with culturally and linguistically diverse consumers, Health Expectations. 2020; 23:159–168
Shameran Slewa Younan, et al, Conceptualisations of mental illness and stigma in Congolese, Arabic speaking and Mandarin speaking communities: a qualitative study, BMC Public Health (2022) 22:2353