Developing positive mental health for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds is the focus of a key Mental Health Week event, to be opened next week by WA Minister for Mental Health, Dr Graham Jacobs.
Organised by UWA's Community, Culture, and Mental Health Unit and key community groups, "Transcultural Wellbeing" will provide an interactive forum where presenters and participants can share strategies for maintaining wellbeing across cultures.
Winthrop Professor Aleksandar Janca, Head of the School of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at UWA said mental health and mental illness were part of every culture and country, including Australia.
"The Community, Culture and Mental Health Unit is committed to the mental health of culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) communities, and pleased to support initiatives that raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing locally and globally," Professor Janca said.
"Strategies that build resilience and coping skills and enable people to become engaged in their community are recognised as effective ways to promote positive mental health for CaLD communities."
Speakers from diverse backgrounds will share and demonstrate skills that promote wellbeing, including tai chi, healthy eating and art therapy. The Spirit of the Streets Choir will entertain visitors and the Street Doctor will also provide healthy directions and mind care information and services.
Maranda Ali, organising committee member from the Muslim Women's Support Centre said Australia's diverse cultural background provided a valuable opportunity to share cultural experiences relating to maintaining mental health.
Participants include the Department of Health Transcultural Mental Health Service (Royal Perth Hospital) and North Metropolitan Child and Adolescent Services; YouthLink; Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre; Ishar Women's Multicultural Health Services; Muslim Women's Support Centre; Maitri Mental Health Services.
"Transcultural Wellbeing" will be held at Herb Graham Recreation Centre, Mirrabooka next Thursday, October 8.