Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide
Multicultural Information

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

Multicultural Information

The information on this page is relevant for those seeking information on services for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Backgrounds

People from CALD backgrounds are potential victims of inequality, often missing out on available services through lack of knowledge of their existence. At worst, they are not afforded the same standard of care or service as those from the mainstream in society. Research has shown that the CALD population often receives mental health services that are inferior in quality and treatment outcomes are commonly poor. It must be acknowledged that some clients from a CALD background may have been born in Australia and speak English, but face social discrimination and alienation because of their cultural background, and direct difficulties because of their parent's inability to speak English, social position and cultural perspectives.

CAMHS is committed to providing equity of access to services and attempts to minimise the barriers for people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds to access appropriate services. CAMHS will facilitate equitable access to the range of services, programs and information that CAMHS provides regardless of the consumer’s gender, culture, socio-economic status and religious beliefs. CAMHS will prioritise referrals of clients from CALD backgrounds.

The CALD Working Group was established within CAMHS to address barriers which prevent children and their families from CALD backgrounds accessing services, and also to develop culturally appropriate services for this population.

CAMHS CALD Working Group aims to:

  • Develop into a strong coherent culturally competent leadership group within CAMHS.
  • Ensure that the key strategic directions of CAMHS Cultural Competency Action Plan will be translated into local unit and service plans and implemented across CAMHS.
  • Facilitate innovation in mental health care provision, demonstrate and encourage a culturally sensitive organisational culture, and employ appropriate change management methodologies to facilitate the objective of improved mental health care provision for people from culturally diverse backgrounds;
  • Communicate and disseminate information about relevant CALD issues within CAMHS.

The CALD Working Group has developed policies to help ensure people from CALD backgrounds are given priority in accessing services, and to provide direction in the following areas

  • Cultural consideration in providing clinical services to people from CALD backgrounds
  • Training and development of staff in CALD issues
  • The use of professional interpreters in the mental health setting
  • Home visiting

The CALD Working Group advocates for services to CALD clients to be given a high priority within CAMHS. The group also takes the opportunity to advocate for the development of culturally appropriate mental health services within forums such as state-wide and national mental health reviews.

For further information or to speak to someone about CALD services provided by CAMHS please contact your regional Child Adolescent Mental Health Service or contact Monica McEvoy, Nurse Practitioner, Multicultural Mental Health on 8341 1222.


last modified: 14 Jul 2016