Victorian Transcultural Psychiatry Unit provides a range of services that seek to improve the quality of life and the efficacy of mental health services for people across all backgrounds. We believe that doing this will encourage people from different cultural backgrounds to access the mental health services available and to improve the overall wellbeing of the community. We develop services capable of achieving this through our service development program. Here are some of our services:
We work with our partners to improve the awareness and publicity for mental health services in local communities. We believe that once people understand that this service is very accessible to them, they will be more open to taking advantage of and using it. Activities under this program include:
Consultant services with communities so as to identify the most pressing mental health needs and develop a suitable solution to those needs
Fostering a better understanding of what mental health services are all about through community education initiatives which further helps to reduce the stigma within the communities.
Partnership with community organisations, carers, consumers, specific agencies and all health care providers.
Serving as a linkage between ethnic communities and mental health services by referring community members to the suitable support services
Education and Professional Development:
workers with the necessary skill and knowledge required to function efficiently when delivering mental health and psychiatry services to clients with diverse cultural background. These educational and developmental programs come in the form of training, lectures, workshops, as well as seminars. By equipping mainstream health workers with cultural competence skill for their services, we ensure that the gap existing between a carer and client is further bridged regardless of their diverse backgrounds. We are continuously looking for ways to improve these education and developmental programs by;
Developing suitable programs that reflects the needs of the mental health workers and the diverse communities they serve
Collaborating with managers of mental health services in different areas to plan and organise education and developmental programs for their staff
Working with health care providers to produce a transcultural educational program that can reach a much wider audience.
Cultural Portfolio Holders
This was formerly the Bilingual Case Management Program which seeks to employ staff capable of speaking two languages as an Essential way to bridge the language gap that hinders health service delivery. Today, the CPH functions independently within the organisation to develop policies, educate mental health workers, and build partnerships and relationships necessary to meet the needs of the community in which they operate. The CPH work to find creative solutions to the needs of a diverse and dynamic community and how to develop a service model that is more flexible and responsive.
All these programs and services are results of the deliberations and innovation of the Service Development Program, which also provides the necessary resources needed for a worker to perform his job more efficiently. Such include the Directory of Bilingual Mental Health Professionals and Guidelines for working with an interpreter.