S82: ‘Doing’ cultural diversity work: What do those championing cultural diversity in mental health services tell us about their needs?

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By September 26, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Shehani De Silva, Kimberley Wriedt

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Service Systems, Delivery, Implementation,Change, Innovation, Reform,Community, Culture, Society

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: The term Cultural Portfolio Holder (CPH) appeared in the Cultural diversity plan for Victoria’s mental health services: 2006 – 2010 (Victorian Government Department of Human Services, 2006). Victorian Transcultural Mental Health (VTMH), a state-wide education and service development unit, has been supporting CPH’s in a variety of ways through a state-wide Cultural Portfolio Holder (CPH) Network and in individual service development activities. At the end of 2016, CPH’s registered with the state-wide CPH Network were asked to identify their capacity needs in order to facilitate the implementation of culturally responsive principles and practices within their organisations. Respondents suggested that some required supports are systemic in nature and therefore position services such as VTMH in advocating roles. These needs often related to authorising factors including: clarity around what is expected of the role, substantive time allocation for the position, and an expectation that mental health service providers address organisational issues related to culturally responsive practice. As well as identifying general capacity building supports and the resource needs of CPH’s ‘doing’ cultural diversity work, this paper highlights broader policy and implementation support required for organisational change that reflects culturally safe practices.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: The audience will gain an awareness of the capacity development needs of people championing cultural diversity initiatives in mental health services

Learning Objective 2: This topic is relevant to mental health services as it draws awareness to policy support required to support Cultural Portfolio Holders in addressing the mental health needs of and within culturally diverse communities.

Victorian Transcultural Mental Health (2016). Responding to diversity: An evaluation of VTMH Programs and Services 2013-2015. Fitzroy, Victoria:
Victorian Transcultural Mental Health (2017). State-wide cultural portfolio holder network: Findings from a CPH online survey. Unpublished report.
Colucci, E., Chopra, P., McDonough, S., Kouzma, N., & Minas, H. (2014). Improving cultural responsiveness in mental health services: Development of a consensus around the role of Cultural Portfolio Holders. International Journal of Culture and Mental Health, 7(3), 339-355.

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