Annual Conference

TheMHS 2014 S099: Are we making a difference? The use of the HSCL-25 in a torture rehabilitation counselling service for refugees

By August 31, 2014 No Comments

Presented by April Pearman and Alyssa Lillee

You can see the abstract for this presentation here.

The HSCL-25 is available here.

ASSETTS is an organisation working with individuals who have suffered trauma, running a specialised counselling program. The service utilises the Hopkins Symptoms Checklist and conducts training for participating clinicians in implementing this clinical measure. Assetts involved 110 individuals in the usage of the Hopkins measure, of which 60% of respondents were women. These women were largely from Iran or Afghanistan and all were above 18 years of age. 

The Hopkins Symptoms Checklist is widely used in torture rehabilitation and is a 25 item checklist measuring symptoms of anxiety and depression. As a tool it can be utilised in many different languages. The aim of the research study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the counselling service and to improve service delivery in this specialised field.

A client reference group enabled a shared dissemination of results and the involvement of consumers in the study, to view the project as less of a research study and more of a rehabilitation project. The analysed data has demonstrated that both anxiety and depression evident within trauma victims has reduced through involvement in the counselling provided by Assetts.

Successful Multicultural training in the Most Diverse State in Australia – Presented by Siew Ho Yeak and Elizabeth Moore

In Australia 25% of people are born overseas and 50% of people have a parent that were born overseas. Australia has an existing National Multicultural Policy which came into place in February 2011, consisting of 3 dimensions which are:

  • Cultural Identity
  • Social Justice
  • Economic Efficiency

In WA the Multicultural Health Service has provision for the Perth metropolitan area only, therefore raising the question – How do we provide culturally appropriate care, when considering the remote communities and distant, widely spaced towns?

WA has the Office of Multicultural Interests, which provides web based information and resources regarding mental health and spirituality. In 2007 a review was carried out into existing multicultural services and highlighted inefficiencies in use of resources and also demonstrated the lack of overarching leadership. Since this review, multicultural services are now spread across the South Metropolitan Health Service (SMHS), improving service delivery to consumers, carers and families as well as upskilling staff in the utilisation of a collaborative approach within their community practice.

2004 was described as a turning point for the formation of a nucleus of instrumental people instigating education. The Multicultural Services began comprehensive training workshops, at a foundation level, a master class level and most recently as a train the trainer program. Over time following feedback, the breadth & depth of the course matter has increased to include topics such as:

  • Spirituality and what this means for mental health
  • Islamic beliefs and mental Health
  • Ethno psychopharmacology

The predicted outcomes of the train the trainer program, are that it will form a platform for more culturally appropriate care and improved cost-effectiveness of service delivery.

Post by Jeremy Hancock and Ashley Pelton