Occupational Therapy Australia's 26th National Conference and Exhibition


An exciting line-up of keynote and invited speakers who will present on a range of traditional and contemporary issues that are important to the Occupational Therapy profession.

This year Sylvia Docker's Lecture will be delivered by Professor Jenny Zivianiwith a title of Occupational performance: a case for self-determination.

For further information regarding
registration fees and inclusions, please click here.

Online survey about a new national framework


MHiMA is inviting feedback on the new Framework for Mental Health in Multicultural Australia: Towards Culturally Inclusive Service Delivery, which can now be accessed on the MHiMA website. The direct link to the Framework is Between now and 10 June 2013, we are inviting you to provide feedback via an online survey.

We would like to encourage all stakeholders in the mental health and multicultural sectors to participate. Your feedback is very much appreciated and valued and will be integrated into the final draft, due for official release in August 2013.  

The aim of the Framework is to provide mental health services in the public, private and community sectors with easy to use practical strategies, tools and resources that will increase their cultural responsiveness, including rates of access by CALD mental health consumers and carers and the quality of care they receive. 

The Framework consists of three integrated components:

1.   An Organisational Cultural Responsiveness Assessment Scale (OCRAS) for mental health services, based on
the National Cultural Competency Tool for Mental Health Services (2010), the starting point for users of the Framework.

2.   Strategies and outcome indicators in four key outcome areas:

       • culturally and linguistically responsive consumer, carer and family participation;

       • culturally inclusive safety and quality practices in mental health services;

       culturally and linguistically responsive mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention; and

       • culturally responsive mental health workforce.

3.    Supporting tools and resources such as fact sheets and useful links.

The Framework has been closely aligned with current Commonwealth, state and territory plans and policies in mental health and multicultural affairs and referenced to current mental health standards and national safety and quality health standards.

To participate in the survey and find a direct link to the Framework please go to:

If you have any queries please contact Saskia de Vries, Project Officer, on [email protected] or (07) 3167 8319.

Thank you.

beyondblue has launched a major National Anxiety Campaign


"What do 2 million Australians have in common? Anxiety symptoms they don't recognise".

On May 6 2013 beyondblue launched the National Anxiety Campaign. To read the media release, please go to the beyondblue website; or a short film about others personal experiences with anxiety here.

Depression and anxiety in GBTI men: survey open


As part of the DoHA funded 'Beyond Barriers Strategy', the National LGBTI Health Alliance is currently conducting research for beyondblue on the opinions and ideas of gay, bisexual, trans and intersex men to encourage GBTI males to take action against depression and anxiety and to find out how best to communicate with GBTI men around these issues.  For more information, go to beyondblue's website.  

Cultural responsiveness learning programmes for mental health practitioners: what do we know?


What cultural competence or cultural responsiveness learning programmes are currently available to mental health practitioners in each state and territory? What sorts of programmes should be available? How can we work together to develop national mental health cultural responsiveness competencies and accredited courses? MHiMA is currently exploring what is known about the effectiveness of cultural responsiveness learning programmes for health professionals in mental health settings, the availability of programmes across Australia, and collective aspirations for the future.

To do this we are talking with members of MHiMA’s State and Territories Reference Group and asking them to provide us with information about what is happening in their region. We are also undertaking a review of the international literature regarding current approaches with particular emphasis on studies that discuss their effectiveness, that is, their workforce and service impacts and consumer and carer outcomes. 

We plan to make our findings publicly available in a report and on the MHiMA website later this year. We are also preparing an on-line register of multicultural mental health professional development and training providers across the country. We are keen to strengthen capacity by sharing resources and develop a coherent plan that will support the development of a culturally competent workforce.

If you would like to find out more,  please contact either Sue McDonough, [email protected] or Erminia Colucci, [email protected] 

Framework for Mental health in Multicultural Australia: progress report


Work continues on the development of a new Framework for Mental health in Multicultural Australia that builds on and integrates the existing National Cultural Competency Tool. The framework consists of three integrated components: an online self-assessment organisational cultural competency scale; an implementation framework consisting of strategies and outcome indicators at three levels of achievement; and supporting tools and resources to facilitate implementation. Scores generated from the self-assessment process will assist services to determine how culturally responsive they are, develop a continuous improvement plan and track progress achieved over a period of time through utilisation of the online tool. The framework has been shaped by the extensive consultation already undertaken with the mental health sector. Next steps include a public consultation and pilot testing in public mental health and not-for-profit services. Findings from these will be used to finalise the framework which is due to go live in July 2013.

Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) Access and Equity consultations


Each year, FECCA, the national peak body representing Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds conducts Access and Equity consultations across Australia, to find out what CALD people’s experiences are accessing Government services. FECCA then provides feedback to Government on what is working and what is not working. The survey is specifically designed to obtain the insights and opinions of people from CALD backgrounds and takes about 5–10 minutes to complete. Click here to go to the survey.

Mental Health Professional Network (MHPN)


Are you a mental health professional working with immigrants and refugees?  Lead and Join our Network!

A new partnership between Mental Health in Multicultural Australia (MHiMA) and Mental Health Professional Network (MHPN) is aiming to meet the unique mental health needs of immigrants and refugees. We are forming a network that will enable sharing and collaboration within and across states and territories. 

Find out how can you can benefit by clicking here
. The deadline for registering is Monday May 6th 2013.

The network is open to: 
  • general practitioners;
  • psychiatrists;
  • psychologists;  
  • mental health nurses; 
  • occupational therapists; 
  • social workers; 
  • allied health professionals; 
  • community practitioners involved in primary mental healthcare; and 
  • consumer and carer advocates.


Network members will meet regularly (at least four times per year) to participate in education, clinical review, peer support, community development, collaboration and networking opportunities. They will also collaborate through online discussions and resource exchanges. Members will also have access MHPN Online Professional Development opportunities, including a series of regular, free webinars with panels of expert presenters participating in a facilitated case study discussion.   

The network will be managed by a national coordinator in collaboration with coordinators from states and territories, with support from MHPN and MHiMA project officers. A ‘Call for Interest’ for volunteers to cover these roles been circulated through MHPN’s newsletter and MHiMA’s website. 

Engaging CALD Communities Online Forum: invitation to participate



Are you working in the area of mental health providing services or support to people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds?

beyondblue and MHiMA are pleased to invite you to participate in an online forum which will take place in April 2013. This forum has been developed as a space to explore issues related to engaging people from CALD backgrounds to reduce the impact of mental health issues. The forum will also provide opportunities for information sharing and collective learning across a range of disciplines, workplace settings and locations within Australia.

As an online forum member, you will be invited to participate in various topics relevant to engaging people from CALD backgrounds in the area of mental health. Questions will be posted and you can also add your own forum topics. Your experiences, ideas and suggestions of how to best engage people from CALD backgrounds will be useful to inform future practice for people working in mental health. It is hoped that the collective wisdom and experiences of forum members will contribute to improving the wellbeing of people from CALD backgrounds who are affected by mental health issues.

For more information please visit the MHiMA homepage . If you have any queries, please contact  contact Amy Baker, Project Officer, [email protected] or (08) 8302 2643. We look forward to welcoming you to this exciting online forum.


4th WA Transcultural Mental Health and 2nd Australasian Refugee Health Conference, 31/10 - 1/11


The Transcultural Mental Health Service of the Department of Psychiatry at Royal Perth Hospital, ISHAR Multicultural Women's Health Centre, and the Department of Health's North Metropolitan Health Service Public Health and Ambulatory Care are hosting the 4th WA Transcultural Mental Health and 2nd Australasian Refugee Health Conference 2013 (Trans-Refugee 2013). It will be held at the Duxton Hotel Perth from 31 October to 1 November 2013. Registration is now open online. Register prior to Friday, 31 May 2013 in order to secure your Early Bird Registration.

MHiMA's feedback to the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA)


MHiMA recently provided feedback to the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA) on the pricing of mental health care. To read MHiMA's response submission, please see go to our Policy Development and Implementation page.

MHiMA e-bulletin Issue 03


For the latest issue of the MHiMA e-bulletin, please click here.

MHiMA e-bulletin Issue 02


For the latest issue of the MHiMA e-bulletin, please click here.

MHiMA CALD Consumer and Carer Working Groups


MHiMA is seeking Expressions of Interest for a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) Consumer Working Group and a CALD Carer Working Group. The Working Groups will provide advice and represent the views and interests of mental health consumers and carers from migrant and refugee backgrounds at a national level.

If you have lived experience of mental illness, are from a CALD background (or care for someone who is from a CALD background), and want to contribute to a national agenda on multicultural mental health, we want to hear from you.

For further information about the groups and the application form, please click on the links below.

If you experience any difficulties completing the application form or would like further information, please contact Amy Baker: [email protected] or (08) 8302 2643.

PLEASE NOTE: The application due date has been extended to Wednesday 31st October 2012.  

-Consumer Working group: expression of interest

-Carer Working Group: expression of interest

-Application form

MHiMA e-bulletin Issue 01


Welcome to our first edition of the Mental Health in Multicultural Australia (MHiMA) e-bulletin. This will be a bi-weekly bulletin focusing on news and events relevant to CALD mental health issues.


MHiMA Newsletter Edition 01


Welcome to the first edition of the Mental Health in Multicultural Australia (MHiMA) Newsletter, which we will distribute quarterly to keep you updated about key project developments.

Read more....

The National Mental Health Recovery Framework and people from immigrant and refugee backgrounds


MHiMA has responded to the second consultation draft of the National Recovery-Oriented Mental Health Practice and Service Delivery Framework Project. More information can be found under "updates" on our Policy Development and Implemention page. 

GPCE Workshops - Brisbane, Qld


The session will include consideration being given to refugee trauma, determinants of mental health and mental ill health, explanatory models of care (a major feature), working with interpreters, a case-study of a person who presents to a GP following discharge for suicide attempt, psychotropic medication for people of refugee background, and the therapeutic relationship. There will be an opportunity to ask questions and consider divergent views and experiences from clinical practice. This workshop goes for 1.5 hours.

WC Mental Health and Trauma informed engagement with people of Refugee background for GPs working in Primary Care

MHiMA responses to new national policies and strategies


How will emerging national health and social policies affect people from immigrant and refugee backgrounds affected by mental ill health? MHiMA has been contributing to important  national policy discussions. Read more...  

National Mental Health Recovery Framework: Public Forums


Forums are being conducted in capital cities throughout  May. These afternoon events are open to everyone although an RSVP is essential. The attached flyer has all the details.

Recovery Framework Public Forums Recovery Framework Public Forums (131 KB)


Expressions of Interest for mental health Consumer Reference Group


The Department of Health and Ageing is coordinating Expressions of Interest for a mental health Consumer Reference Group (CRG). MHiMA encourages CALD mental health consumers to apply. Information about the role of the CRG and how to apply is available at

The Mental Health Council of Australia is providing translations of the current Mental Health Survey


The Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA) would like to hear experiences and thoughts of CALD mental health carers. To facilitate this process the MHCA has translated the current Mental Health Carers Survey available at and into:  Arabic, Chinese, Italian and Greek. 

Please contact: [email protected] to obtain translations.

Draft release Ten Year Roadmap for National Mental Health Reform


The Federal Government has released a draft of the Ten Year Roadmap for National Mental Health Reform for community consultations. MHiMA encourages CALD consumers, carers, CALD community groups and multicultural sector agencies to participate in these public consultations. Access the draft document and the online survey tool on the Department of Health and Ageing website:


New MHiMA Website Launch


Welcome to the new MHiMA Website. We hope you enjoy your visit.