Authors: Cassandra Barrett
Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Lived Experience, Recovery,Reducing Stigma and Discrimination,Promotion, Prevention, Early Intervention
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Mainstream mental health promotion initiatives have generally neglected to undertake a tailored, ethno-specific approach for culturally and linguistically diverse communities such as the Jewish community. This is particularly true in respect to the inclusion of community members with a lived experience of mental ill health as a mechanism to reduce stigma.
The Jewish community is both a culturally and linguistically diverse community and a faith-based community. As is the case for many CALD groups, community norms and values mean that mental ill health is very highly stigmatised, particularly within the religious community.
The Reach Out, Speak Out video campaign is the first lived experience mental health promotion initiative developed especially for the Australian Jewish community. Incorporating perspectives from the Russian-speaking, Orthodox (religious) and LGBTIQ+ communities, the highly successful campaign reflected the diversity of the Jewish community and sought to promote community dialogue around mental ill health in order to reduce stigma and normalise help-seeking.
Campaign materials were distributed widely across the community and the reception was extraordinarily positive. It is hoped that the Reach Out, Speak Out campaign can act as a model for other ethno-specific or religious communities seeking to develop a tailored, culturally appropriate response to stigma reduction.
Learning Objective 1: Audience members will gain an understanding of the cultural and religious factors that drive mental health stigma in the Jewish community, and the importance of developing a tailored, ethno-specific response to combat this; the value of the lived experience, in-group perspective in mental health promotion activities for communities where mental illness is highly stigmatised; and a model for other culturally and linguistically diverse or faith-based communities who are seeking to develop their own mental health promotion initiatives.
Learning Objective 2: This topic demonstrates the value that is gained by seeking the input of culturally and linguistically diverse community members when developing strategies to promote mental health literacy and service-seeking. It also highlights how mainstream mental health promotion efforts that fail to utilise a tailored, ethno-specific approach are unlikely to succeed, or be well-received, in culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Jewish Care Victoria. (2016). Mental Health Promotion: 'Reach Out, Speak Out'. Video playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLb49O006DbuRU4Za6FpR2V6XrGzG1RyyE
The Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia. (2011). 'Mental Health and Australia's Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities.' Senate submission paper: http://www.fecca.org.au/images/stories/documents/Submissions/2011/submissions_2011050.pdf