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A governmental policy initiative on transcultural mental health: An Australian Approach A/Prof Abd Malak AM.

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Presentation on theme: "A governmental policy initiative on transcultural mental health: An Australian Approach A/Prof Abd Malak AM."— Presentation transcript:

1 A governmental policy initiative on transcultural mental health: An Australian Approach A/Prof Abd Malak AM

2 Social justice policy development in Australia Australian Multicultural Health Policy The need for policy targeting the diverse community An example of an Australian policy approach – Multicultural Mental Health Australia. This presentation will cover:

3 Background Immigration 1901 white Australian policy – approx. 6 million WWII other European countries (2006) ¼ out of 20 million Policy 1940 – 1960 assimilation 1966 abolished assimilation 1970 multiculturalism

4 Milestones Introduction of universal health insurance – 1970s The Henderson Report (Commission of enquiry into poverty 1975) Federally funded community health program 1975 Ethnic lobby and voluntary organisations (Bilingual Professionals and Health Care Interpreters) Galbally report (Migrant services and programs) 1978 Federal and State Government legislation and policy

5 Multicultural Policies What is multiculturalism? Where is multicultural Australia heading? What is our future? What is our identity as a culturally diverse nation? What is our Australian value? ??????

6 The policy emphasises: A commitment to and promotion of an Australia of ethnically and religiously diverse peoples A vision of an Australia in which the public good informs development and implementation of all government policies and programs.

7 Let me define multiculturalism as: A value-system based on respect and understanding that is reciprocal An agent for peace and community harmony A rights and social justice based and A framework that embraces diversity in all its forms and gives it social, cultural, political and economic meaning with modern, pluralist communities

8 Multicultural Policy and Plan Why Australians Need a Multicultural Policy and Plan 1.Respond to Growing Diversity in Australia 2.Provide Quality Health Services

9 Address Special Health Care Needs of Residents from Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Communities Ensure that health benefit is maintained Address the special areas where health status is shown to be poorer than Australian born residents Address the needs of particular at risk or priority groups

10 Maintain Cost Effectiveness of Area Services Incorrect or late diagnosis for NESB patients/consumers as well as delayed discharge Failure to gain informed consent, overuse of crisis services, accident and emergency and acute mental health services Unnecessary hospitalisation Carrying out unnecessary procedures and the overuse of tests and pathology to assist in reaching a diagnosis Failure to comply with treatment regimes leading to the deterioration of health, unnecessary readmission and in some cases passing on of infection to a public health risk Wasted appointments Legal and insurance costs Increased costs can result from:

11 Utilisation of Mental Health Services Lower rates of hospitalisation for mental disorders than the Australian born Longer lengths of stay than English speaking people A much higher proportion of CALD inpatients are involuntary Low rates of utilisation of community-based mental health services

12 About Multicultural Mental Health Australia (MMHA) A national program focusing on and providing national leadership in multicultural mental health and suicide prevention for Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Works to promote better mental health and well being for a diverse community. Represents an alliance of consumers, carers, the community, state-wide specialist services the tertiary sector operating as a consortium.

13 Aims of the Framework To promote the mental health of all people in Australia from culturally and linguistically diverse communities Where possible, to prevent the development of mental health problems and mental illness for people from CALD backgrounds To reduce the impact of mental illness of culturally and linguistically diverse individuals, families and communities and To assure the rights of CALD people with mental illness

14 Community Services & service providers Commonwealth & state Governments & national programs Target groups Community groups Consumers Carers

15 Strategic Forum Partner Organisations Affiliated Organisations Advisers Broad direction and agenda setting

16 Strategic Forum Partner Organisations Affiliated Organisations Advisers Joint Officers Group Framework Implementation and state development

17 Strategic Forum Partner Organisations Affiliated Organisations Advisers Joint Officers Group MMHA Consortium State-wide specialist service providers Peak consumer, carer, disability and community organisations Founder organisations MMHA Foundation Advisers Clinical issues Evaluation Governance MH promotion & prevention Service development & clinical leadership Suicide Prevention Workforce development. Consortium Operations Group –program oversight MMHA Staff and ex officio member s

18 MMHA Consortium Members are State-wide specialist service providers concerned specifically with advancing the mental health of people form culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Peak consumer, carer, disability and community organisations concerned with the well-being of culturally and linguistically diverse individuals, their families, carers and communities. Founder organisations are current members who were members of the original MMHA consortium.

19 conclusion Basic Principle Mainstreaming – long term – quality – structural change Partnership – we cant do it all – we havent got all the ????

20 Key components of successful policy and programs Responsibility Resources and infrastructure Monitoring & evaluation Community involvement It is everyones business

21 Provides protection under the law for the individual as an Australian Citizen Be part of Australia Australia part of a diverse and interesting world Australian legislation and policy

22 It is: A whole government approach (national, state and local government) Supported by Major political parties Achieved significant gain to community building and economic prosperity

23 However, we still need more time and honesty in identifying challenges of diversity and responding to it

24 dhi.gov.au dhi.gov.au\clearinghouse mmha.org.au Contact Information

25 Strengths & Sustainable Solutions 10 – 12 March 2008 Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre Darling Harbour, Sydney Visit:


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