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Mental Health in Multicultural Australia project to get $2.7 million

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Minister for Mental Health and Ageing


17 June 2011

Mental Health in Multicultural Australia Project to get $2.7 Million

The Gillard Labor Government is continuing its efforts to support better mental health and wellbeing in culturally and linguistically diverse communities with a new provider appointed to deliver a $2.7 million multicultural mental health project.

“Australia is made of more than 200 unique cultural groups and approximately 15 per cent of the population speaks a language other than English at home,” Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler said.

“Despite our cultural diversity, it’s well documented that CALD communities are reluctant to access mental health services due to language and cultural barriers.”

“That’s exactly why the Government is providing ongoing support to this project which will help improve awareness of mental health and suicide prevention in diverse communities.

“Funding of more than $2.7 million over three years will be provided to a group of providers to deliver this important project.”

The Queensland Transcultural Mental Health Centre will deliver this project in partnership with the University of Melbourne’s Centre for International Mental Health, the Victorian Transcultural Psychiatry Unit, and the University of South Australia’s Mental Health Nursing Group, Human Rights and Security Cluster. The Queensland Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs Directorate will offer management and executive support for the project.

Today’s announcement follows an open application process and an independent review of the earlier project. The new project will be called Mental Health in Multicultural Australia.

Mr Butler said ongoing support for this project was proof of the Government’s long-standing commitment to achieve better mental health and wellbeing for people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

“This project builds on the investments we’re making in mental health through this year’s budget. The Gillard Labor Government’s $2.2 billion package is the largest single investment in mental health spending in Australian history and will provide better services to all Australians including culturally diverse communities.”

New initiatives to benefit CALD communities in this year’s Budget include:

• The expansion of the Personal Helpers and Mentors Program (PHaMs) which will see more people with severe mental illness supported, including the targeting of vulnerable groups like CALD communities.

• The doubling of the number of Family Mental Health Support Services will ensure a specific focus can be placed on vulnerable groups like children from CALD communities. This will help over 30,000 vulnerable and at risk children, young people (up to 16 years) and their families.

• The establishment of a single mental health online portal providing assistance to an additional 45,000 people will particularly benefit CALD communities given they often prefer to remain anonymous, face added levels of stigma and are also often reluctant or face barriers to using face-to-face services.

• The doubling in funding for Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) to $205.9 million over five years will provide services to more than 180,000 additional people. ATAPS services are targeted at hard to reach groups, including people from CALD communities.

“The Gillard Labor Government looks forward to delivering increased and better targeted care and support for our CALD communities,” Mr Butler said.

For more information, contact Mr Butler’s office on 02 6277 7280