Division of Mental Health
The information on this page is relevant for those seeking information on services for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and Aboriginal people.
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:
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
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.
Whilst comprehensive studies of the level of mental health problems in the Aboriginal population have not been undertaken, preliminary research indicates disproportionately higher rates than for the population generally. It has also been shown that Aboriginal people access mental health services less than the general population.
The Aboriginal Working Group (AWG) was formed in 1989 with representatives from most units of CAMHS. The main aim of the group is to address barriers which prevent Aboriginal children and their families accessing services, and also to develop culturally appropriate services for this population. Focus areas for the AWG are outlined below.
Aboriginal Service Policy
The AWG has developed policies to help ensure Aboriginal people are given priority in accessing services, and to provide direction in the following areas
These policies have been formulated in consultation with relevant Aboriginal services and stakeholders. The AWG provides feedback on national and state policy regarding the development of Aboriginal services.
The AWG disseminates relevant information throughout CAMHS including Aboriginal focussed resources and relevant research and information regarding Aboriginal services. The AWG also has a role in providing information about and promoting the Division's services to external agencies..
The AWG helps to develop links with other agencies providing services to Aboriginal communities. A number of interagency projects and agreements have been undertaken since the formation of the group. The aim of this is to improve access for Aboriginal people to CAMHS services and provide more comprehensive and culturally relevant services.
The AWG helps to develop culturally specific clinical services for Aboriginal clients of CAMHS. Members of the group have undergone extensive cultural awareness training and use the AWG forum to discuss Aboriginal clinical issues. The members of the AWG act as a contact for other Divisional staff and staff from other agencies who may be working with Aboriginal clients.
The AWG provides consultancy at a range of levels from nationwide consultations to that of individual client work.
Training and Development
The AWG provides and facilitates training and development for a range of internal Divisional forums. It has also been involved with outside agencies, both Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal in the provision of training and development in regard to mental health issues.
The AWG advocates for Aboriginal services to be given a high priority within CAMHS. The group also takes the opportunity to advocate for the development of Aboriginal services within forums such as state-wide and national mental health reviews.
For further information or to speak to someone about Aboriginal services provided by CAMHS please contact your regional Child Adolescent Mental Health Service or contact Lyn Jones, Senior Aboriginal Mental Health Consultant on 8341 1222.
last modified: 24 Mar 2016