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Multicultural Mental Health Forum. Recognising and r esponding to Mental h ealth c oncerns in young people from multicultural backgrounds By David Keegan. What is a mental illness?. DEFINITION

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multicultural mental health forum

Multicultural Mental Health Forum

Recognising and responding to Mental healthconcerns in young people frommulticultural backgrounds

By David Keegan

what is a mental illness
What is a mental illness?
  • DEFINITION
  • A mental illness is a diagnosable illness which causes major changes in a person’s thinking, emotional state and behaviour, and disrupts the person’s ability to study or work and carry on their usual personal relationships.

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) Washington DC: American Psychiatric Association

percentage of australians with a mental illness in one year
PERCENTAGE OF AUSTRALIANSWITH A MENTAL ILLNESS IN ONE YEAR

9.3

21.7

15.4

4.3

8.4

6.3

15.5

9.8

12.7

22.8

30.1

26.4

Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results. (Document 4326.0) Canberra: ABS 2008

multicultural statistics
Multicultural Statistics
  • There is very little data about prevalence within multicultural communities
  • ABS data suggests similar rates for overseas born Australians
  • Data suggests high prevalence amongst indigenous people
outline of common mental illnesses
Outline of Common Mental Illnesses
  • Depression
  • – unusually sad mood characterised by persistent symptoms over a period of at least 2 weeks (5 or more symptoms needed)
  • - Main treatments for youth include CBT and anti-depressants in some cases
  • Anxiety
  • – an unusually and persistently anxious response to common situations or to particular triggers. Includes phobias, PTSD, OCD and Panic attacks.
  • - Main treatments for youth include relaxation, meditation and CBT type therapies
outline of common mental illnesses6
Outline of Common Mental Illnesses
  • Psychosis
  • – a loss of reality characterised by delusions and hallucinations. Includes schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and drug induced psychosis
  • Substance Use Disorder
  • – Severe addiction to alcohol or other drugs (AOD)
  • Eating disorders
  • – characterised by distorted view of self and control through food (includes Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating disorder)
  • Other disorders include personality disorders which are hard to understand and treat.
slide9

Source: Hunt, D. (2000), Refugee Adaptation in the Resettlement Process (pp. 17-20), and the Minnesota Centre for Victims of Torture.

Hunt, D. (2000), Refugee Adaptation in the Resettlement Process. In The National Alliance for Multicultural Mental Health. Lessons from the Field: Issues and Resources in Refugee Mental Health. (pp. 17-20).

multicultural experiences of mh
Multicultural Experiences of MH
  • There are many ways that people understand mental illness.
  • For example….
  • A result of past wrongs in the family or by the individual
  • A curse
  • Demon possessed
  • Shame/denial
  • Some cultural practices can be confused for mental illness
cultural barriers to help seeking
Cultural barriers to help seeking
  • Australia has a very medical approach to Mental Health
  • Language and terminology
  • Shame
  • Spiritual and personality based understanding of mental health
  • Lack of culturally appropriate healing and support options
social determinants of mental health
Social Determinants of Mental Health
  • Some factors promote good mental health regardless of culture
  • Social and family connectedness
  • Positive self esteem
  • Knowledge about coping strategies and how to get help early
  • Sense of purpose and belonging
cultural competence
Cultural Competence
  • Being culturally competent when providing assistance involves:
  • • Being aware that a person’s culture will shape how they understand health and ill-health
  • • Learning about the specific cultural beliefs that surround mental illness in the person’s community
  • • Learning how mental illness is described in the person’s community (knowing what words and ideas are used to talk about the symptoms or behaviours)
  • • Being aware of what concepts, behaviours or language are taboo (knowing what might cause shame)
cultural safety
Cultural Safety
  • Practicing cultural safety means:
  • • Respecting the culture of the community by using the appropriate language and behaviour
  • • Never doing anything that causes the person to feel shame
  • • Supporting the person’s right to make decisions about seeking culturally-based care
further info
Further info
  • Mental Health First Aid Guidelines - http://www.mhfa.com.au/Guidelines.shtml
  • Youth Beyond Blue – http://www.ybblue.com.au
  • Transcultural Mental Health - http://www.dhi.gov.au/Transcultural-Mental-Health-Centre/Transcultural-Mental-Health-Centre-Home/default.aspx
  • Multicultural Mental Health Australia - http://www.dhi.gov.au/Multicultural-Mental-Health-Australia/home/default.aspx
references
References
  • Aboriginal Mental Health First Aid Training and Research Program. Cultural Considerations & Communication Techniques : Guidelines for providing Mental Health First Aid to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Person. Melbourne: Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, University of Melbourne and beyondblue, the national depression initiative; 2008.

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) Washington DC: American Psychiatric Association

Arsenault-Lapierre G, Kim C, Turecki G. Psychiatric diagnosies in 3275 suicides: a meta analysis. BMC Psychiatry 2004; 4:37

Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results. (Document 4326.0) Canberra: ABS 2008

  • Hunt, D. (2000), Refugee Adaptation in the Resettlement Process. In The National Alliance for Multicultural Mental Health. Lessons from the Field: Issues and Resources in Refugee Mental Health. (pp. 17-20).

Kelly CM, Kitchener BA, Jorm AF (2010). Youth Mental Health First Aid: a manual for adults assisting young people. 2nd ed. Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, Melbourne, Australia

  • Wickramage, K., Versha, A., Gurrum, D., Sankoh, F., Bah, S., Verma, N. (2008)“Un(settled) voices” Project: Perceptions and experiences of young refugees on re-settlement in Western Sydney