“Australia’s population includes many people who were born overseas, have a parent born overseas or speak a variety of languages. Together, these groups of people are known as culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.” (Australian Bureau of Statistics)
The adjustment to a new country, way of life and language can be stressful and isolating. This may be affected by the reason for migration, employment, social and economic strain, ability to speak English and the cultural differences between Australia and the person’s culture of origin.
Events prior to migration (such as trauma and exposure to violence), combined with experiences after migration (lack of support networks, discrimination, and in some cases uncertainty about visa status) can add to vulnerability within this community. Refugees will experience additional stressors, related both to the reasons they had to leave their home countries and their experiences in Australia.
Culture impacts on all aspects of a person’s life. Each CALD community, and each person within the community, is different. It is important to not stereotype.
When providing support to someone from a CALD background consider:
When working with someone from a CALD background, the best support will be provided using the same principles and approaches for working with all people with mental health conditions. This support needs to be culturally responsive and linguistically suitable. Your support should include:
It is important to avoid stereotyping. Listen, ask and clarify, and build trust by being respectful, reliable and honest.
NSW Transcultural Mental Health CentreThis website includes a range of resources to assist health professionals to provide effective and culturally and linguistically appropriate services for clients.Type: Web resourcesProduced by: NSW Transcultural Mental Health Centre
Orientation To Cultural Responsiveness This introductory resource, created by practitioners for practitioners, explores how to create culturally responsive mental health services.Type: Web resourceLength: 6 modulesProduced by: Victorian Transcultural Mental Health
NDIS language interpreting servicesThis web page provides access to interpreters and translated NDIS information. (NB: Participants from CALD backgrounds can get free interpreter services when using the services of NDIS registered providers.)Type: Web page Estimated reading time: 5 minutesProduced by: NDIA
Working with culturally and linguistically diverse CALD communities - Tips for communicationThis video offers practical tips and ideas from members of CALD communities on how to improve communication.Type: VideoViewing time: 3:05Closed captions: AvailableProduced by: TAS Government
Working with culturally and linguistically diverse CALD communities – Tips and adviceThis video offers tips and advice about working with CALD communities by members of CALD communities.Type: VideoViewing time: 2:40Closed captions: AvailableProduced by: TAS Government
Supporting culturally and linguistically diverse peopleThis web page provides an overview of supporting people from a CALD background with links to online mental health resources.Type: Web page Estimated reading time: 10 minutesProduced by: Head to Health
Work with diverse peopleThis free online learning course covers cultural awareness, development of culturally diverse relationships, creating cultural communications, and dealing with misunderstandings and conflict. In order to access this training, you will need to set up an account.Type: eLearningProduced by: QCOSS Community Door