Youth can have a say at Headspace

YOUNG PEO­PLE TO GUIDE MEN­TAL HEALTH SER­VICES

Comment News (Gosnells) - - News - Jes­sica War­riner

AR­MADALE is lead­ing the way in help­ing cul­tur­ally and lin­guis­ti­cally di­verse (CALD) young peo­ple have a say about men­tal health.

Headspace Ar­madale is cre­at­ing Aus­tralia’s first CALD Youth Ref­er­ence Group to find out what young peo­ple from a mi­grant or refugee back­ground need in terms of men­tal health.

CALD youth worker Michelle Ng said there was a big need for youth from dif­fer­ent back­grounds to have their voices heard.

“Tra­di­tions are dif­fer­ent, cul­tures are dif­fer­ent, so grow­ing up in Aus­tralia in a western cul­ture, your par­ents don’t see things in the same way as their child might, caus­ing con­flict and lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Es­pe­cially when it comes to men­tal health; if you haven’t got that sup­port from par­ents, it can be a slip­pery slope,” she said.

“We want there to be a con­ver­sa­tion in­stead of si­lence, in­stead of noth­ing.

2016 Cen­sus data showed 49 per cent of all Aus­tralians were born over­seas or had at least one par­ent who was.

Headspace’s 2015-16 an­nual re­port found CALD young peo­ple were un­der-rep­re­sented as clients, with the cen­tres need­ing to tar­get CALD youth and con­nect more with them to help pro­vide suit­able ser­vices.

“We’re try­ing to get them more in­volved in men­tal health – run­ning art ac­tiv­i­ties, events, or get­ting them to come out and do pre­sen­ta­tions to peo­ple and things like that,” Ms Ng said.

“We’re hop­ing that can in­spire other young peo­ple to seek help when they’re go­ing through a tough time.”

Ms Ng said the CALD ref­er­ence group would also be able to ad­vise on what lan­guages the cen­tres should use at events and whether in­ter­preters would be re­quired.

Headspace Ar­madale needs eight to 10 core CALD youth ref­er­ence group mem­bers who want to have an in­put on di­rect­ing youth men­tal health ser­vices or share their story.

Visit headspace.org.au/ he-adspace-cen­tres/ar­madale or email michelle.ng@ headspacear­madale.com.au.

CALD youth worker Michelle Ng at Headspace Ar­madale.

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