Mental Health In A Multicultural Australia


Multiculturalism in Australia is reflected by the vast mix of diversity in its immigration and population. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2017) data reflects 49 per cent of Australians had either been born overseas, or had one/both parent/s had been born overseas. One challenge facing culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) children and young people is the difficulty integrating and becoming a part of mainstream Australian culture.

Maintaining mental and wellness in a Multicultural Australia is a priority area for the Mind Blank Team! Find out more about how the Mind Blank team can help your community. Get in touch with Mind Blank today.

Cultural and Linguistic Diverse Backgrounds 

We are a country with high cultural and linguistic diverse backgrounds. In order to address this our team have created program scripts designed to reflect stories based of multiculral youths. Our scripts cover topics such as adpating to life stressors like adjusting and moving to a new country. Typically our mental health show themes e.g. identifying signs and symptoms, peer pressure, conflict resolution and help seeking messages remain as vital foundations to our story telling. Here are some links to some of the programs we can offer to schools working with CALD Youths. 

- Mental health in Primary Schools

- Mental health in High Schools

For more information about Mind Blank click here.

 

Here’s a quick testimony: “The Mind Blank team are knowledgeable in mental health and the importance of duty-of-care when working with young people. I particularly appreciated the team’s ability to tailor their performance to the needs of our participants. This was an important factor when I engaged Mind Blank to assist a group of students that were from refugee background, with some on humanitarian entrant visas, and complex trauma experiences. As the English language was not the first language for these participants, we needed to use an interpreter. I was impressed with the Mind Blank team. The team created a bespoke performance for this group, with gaps for language interpretation, sensitivity to volume and time for reflection and questions.”

  

When working with CALD Youth: it is important to empower them to have a say and share their stories in a fun, safe and supportive environment.

Mind Blank encourages a fun safe environment to learn about mental health and wellness.  By working in partnership with various services providers we have dedicated to the meet the needs of CALD youth by creating a program titled Cultural Creations. This is a 10x week Peer Support workshop working with young people to focuses on current mental health concerns of CALD young people. For this program young would meet with the Mind Blank team on a weekly basic and develop their own script leading into a performance for an end of term showing. Such performances highlight the everyday teenage pressures relating to the mental wellbeing of CALD youth.

Multicultural Mental Health 

While depression can affect people of any background, multicultural mental health 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.

Examples of themes that we address in our Cultural Creations program:
- What is mental health?
- Stress management and mindfulness.
- What is anxiety? Identifying signs and symptoms.
- What is depression? Identifying signs and symptoms.
- What is help seeking? Who can I go to for help?
- What mental health service providers exist in Australia?

When working with CALD Youth: It is important to collaborate with the young people and aim to get their buy in early on in the process. Discuss and design a program structure that they think would reflect an accurate representation of mental health in a multicultural Australia.

In the Cultural Creations program we achieve this by asking the young people for feedback on a script theme or topic.

Tips to forming effective collaborative outcomes:

Pro Tip 1: we design our workshops with a student-centred learning enviroment. In other words we keep the young people in focus and get active feedback from them regarding the design and impute of the program.

Pro Tip 2: Mind Blank creates an environment for peer support opportunities. It’s the students who have experience the health promotional workshops that will then get a chance to present their new learning's to their peers.

Here is a story from one of our young people shared during our program:

“The first week of my arrival in Australia was like honey moon, I don’t know what a honey moon actually feels like, but I guess the passion I had with my new life in Australia is the thing closest to honey moon for me. I had endless energy to explore the city, I didn’t know where I going, but that’s okay, everywhere is different from where I lived before, everything is new, and new is good, new is exciting, new is the reason I am in Australia.

After one week, the same reason that kept me out about and explore the world start to have reverse effects on me.

Cultural shock, that’s the name, which described in my teacher said was perfectly normal. I understand that, but I just can’t get rid of it.  In the bad days I often lock myself in my room, dreaded the idea of socialising. I would eat tons of junk food until I feel so sick and disgusted. I wished I could say goodbye to the miserable version of the world I was in…. I was depressed.

I didn’t ask for help, why would I? I was invincible. Well, I felt the pressure that I had appear to be. My problems were my own problems, and I didn’t want anyone to know about them. At the time I would I rather closed myself from the world. Deep down, I was hiding my pain as I knew it will horrify dear ones around me.

But I was wrong, it didn't have to be that way, acknowledging and addressing these issues openly I was able to find peace.

I never felt the existing support in my school was helpful. I wish I was able knock on the door of the counsellor without hesitation, I wish I can tell my teacher how I really felt. I am glad that Mind Blank showed me that there was more support out there. I was able to keep looking for support. Headspace did help me.”  Anonymous

Mind Blank Programs:

We also offer health programs that address mental health in the workplaceIf you need support addressing mental wellness in your work place. Make an enquiry with our team today. 

If You Need Immediate Help

Multicultural Mental Health Australia 
Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors
Headspace 

Tailored Programs For Cultural and Linguistic Diverse Backgrounds 

We hope that we have imparted enough information about how we tailor our work to support CALD youth. Here is a final testimony from one our clients. 

“Of all the organisations that I worked with during my time at Woodville Alliance, it was Mind Blank that truly demonstrated its mission to reduce stigma around mental health concerns and to reduce the risk of suicide.

After all our programs Woodville Alliance conducted participant feedback survey. Mind Blank consistently received the highest ongoing ratings, with great comments from the young participants. Teachers and school principles also advised me that Mind Blank were one of the few programs that was able to break down some “walls” with young people by creating a respectful environment. In other words, young participants were made to feel safe and supported so they opened up, shared experiences and asked questions.” 

Community Engagement Manager at Woodville Alliance

Support youths form cultural and linguistic diverse backgrounds. Get in touch today.