Cultural and Linguistically Diverse Youth (CALD)
While depression can affect people of any background, CALD youth (people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds) face unique circumstances that can impact on their mental health. Factors include cultural differences, feeling torn between cultures, communication difficulties, PTSD, racial discrimination, negative stereotypes and inter-generational conflicts. http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/docs/CALDpaper.pdf
Research suggests that whilst many migrants arrive in Australia with good mental health, this tends to deteriorate after the first 12 months spent in Australia. This is often linked to the stressful process of acculturation, language and social difficulties, and challenges finding employment. (http://www.mindframe-media.info/for-media/reporting-mental-illness/priority-population-groups/culturally-and-linguistically-diverse-populations)
A Personal Story
“I am the Multicultural Youth Development Project officer (MYDP) and I have been working with Mind Blank in the Cultural Creations project for the last two years now. The project was developed with three of the leading refugee and settlement organisations in Wollongong (Navitas English, Strategic Community Assistance to Refugee Families [SCARF] and Illawarra Multicultural Services [IMS]).
Our services reported an increase in mental health issues affecting young refugee backgrounds and recent migrants to the area. Main stream mental health services we found we were maxing out and not engaging some of our clients. This is when our partnerships started."
Anthony, Wollongong NSW
How We Help
The Cultural Creations program focuses on current mental health concerns of CALD young people. Each term we showcase the talents of our participants. For this program, former refugee youth meet weekly and they develop their own script leading into a performance for an end of term showing. Such performances highlight the everyday teenage pressures experienced by our young people as well as the problems relating to the mental wellbeing of CALD youth.
If you need immediate help
- Multicultural Mental Health Australia http://www.mhima.org.au/resources-and-information/looking-for-help-now
- Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors http://www.startts.org.au/
- Headspace http://headspace.org.au/