S35: WORKSHOP: Working with CALD Communities

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By December 2, 2022 No Comments

Authors: Ruth Das, Ash Badhan

Year: 2022

Event: 2022 TheMHS Conference

Subject: workshop, CALD, lived experience, services

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: WORKSHOP: Navigating the complexity of working with CALD communities - how can we make a difference?

Australia is a multicultural country, and the cultural, linguistic and religious diversity of our population continues to increase over time. In fact, the 2016 census shows that nearly half of all Australians were either born overseas or have at least one parent who was born overseas. Moreover, in Australian homes we speak over 300 languages and nearly 30 per cent of homes speak languages other than English. As Australia’s cultural diversity continues to grow, it is essential that mental health services reflect and respond well to the emerging needs of our multicultural population, if they are to deliver safe, quality and equitable care for everyone.

The Embrace Project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health to provide a national focus on mental health and suicide prevention for people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.

The Project works to improve the cultural responsiveness of mental health services to meet the needs of the diverse Australian population through the Framework for Mental Health in Multicultural Australia. (The Framework)

The Framework for Mental Health in Multicultural Australia was developed to help services and individual workers to evaluate and enhance their cultural responsiveness. It includes self-assessment against cultural competency standards along with implementation guidance and supporting resources. It is a free national resource and available to any service provider. The Framework has been implemented across Australia and an independent review was undertaken in 2016.

This paper will provide a step by step overview of how services can use the Frameworks multiple resources to strengthen, enhance and increase their response to the cultural needs of individuals, families and communities.

The workshop will discuss the importance of ensuring mental health services are responsive to people from CALD backgrounds including:
• A panel discussion of people with lived experience of mental illness from CALD backgrounds and service providers
• A presentation of the Embrace Project and it’s many resources including video presentations
• An overview of the Framework
• Small group discussions to develop and refine strategies for working with CALD communities and individuals

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