The uniqueness of Harmony Place is that most agencies supporting multicultural mental health needs, including non-clinical support, in Australia are programs set up within government departments. Harmony Place and its model of mental health service provision to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) people and communities sits alongside a number of nongovernment organisations within the multiculturaland mental health sectors in Brisbane.
Harmony Place was first formed in 1995 under the auspice of the Queensland Association for Mental Health and funded by Queensland Health. The organisation was called the Ethnic Mental Health Program, was located in Spring Hill and began as an ethno-specific program for five CALDB communities identified at the time as needing the services. The ethno-specific communities included: Chinese, Vietnamese, Greek, Italian and Spanish-speaking backgrounds. The identified original goals of the organisation at the time were to provide support, information and education to CALDB communities. This included linking CALDB people to social support in their community and to appropriate mental health services.
At the time the Ethnic Mental Health Program was formed, a Croatian Bilingual Psychiatric Service which employed an ethno-specific worker, was located at the Princess Alexandra Hospital. After the Ethnic Mental Health Program moved to premises in Greenslopes in 1999, the Croatian program joined it to become part of the same organisation.
In 2002 the Multicultural Centre for Mental Health and Well Being became an incorporated organisation and became known to community members as Harmony Place. Subsequently, following an organisational review in 2003 the organisation changed its model of service delivery from ethno-specific to a multicultural inclusive model (with nested ethno-specific model for group work and programs). This change in service delivery stemmed from the growing identified needs in the multicultural sector for mental health information and support and new and emerging CALDB groups including people of refugee background from Africa and the Middle-East. As the organisation’s client base continued to grow, the need for new premises became increasingly more critical and in 2006 Harmony Place moved to its current premises in Yeronga, an inner southern suburb of Brisbane.
Harmony Place initiated and undertook an independent organisational evaluation in 2008-2009. The Strategic Plan is built on the recommendations of this evaluation and a highly consultative and participatory process including a number of ‘whole of organisation’ workshops and meetings over a six-month period.
Harmony Place™ provides a number of programs.
They include the following teams and projects:
Working hours from Monday to Friday, from 8:00am to 5:00pm, except Public holidays