Authors: Klara Takas, Lisa Woodland, Dushan Ristevski, Ilse Blignault, Georgia Brereton
Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Reducing Stigma and Discrimination,Community, Culture, Society,Promotion, Prevention, Early Intervention
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Multicultural Australia is home to people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Mainstream mental health promotion messages and approaches have been found to have little impact on many migrant communities. Limited access to mental health services by those from non-English speaking countries often results in increased emergency or acute presentations, and their relatives are underrepresented at family mental health education sessions and carer support groups. Stigma, low health literacy and poor understanding of the mental health system, including pathways to care, were identified as major barriers to timely care and support among the Macedonian- and Greek-speaking communities in South Eastern Sydney Local Health District.
The play ‘Fear and Shame’ is part of an ongoing program to reduce stigma and increase positive attitudes and behaviours around mental illness among Macedonian and Greek community members. The aim of the presentation is to detail an applied theatre approach which was adopted as a culturally-appropriate way of providing community education in order to generate informed discussion with each community group and increase knowledge and awareness of mental illness. Critical success factors will be examined, as well as the transferability of applied theatre as a health promotion intervention across communities, other health conditions and social issues.
Learning Objectives 1: Participants will learn about the effectiveness of theatre as a mental health promotion tool to reduce stigma and increase positive attitudes and behaviour around mental illness in culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Learning Objectives 2: This topic provides an overview of an effective health promotion intervention to improve mental health literacy within the Greek- and Macedonian- speaking communities and reduce stigma towards mental illness in a culturally appropriate manner.
Blignault I, Smith S, Woodland L, Ponzio V, Ristevski D & Kirov S. (2010). Fear and Shame: Using theatre to destigmatise mental illness in an Australian Macedonian community. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 21, 120-126.
Blignault I, Woodland L, Ponzio V, Ristevski D & Kirov S. (2009). Using a multifaceted community intervention to reduce stigma about mental illness in an Australian Macedonian community. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 20, 227-233.
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