Different cultures have different understandings and beliefs about mental health and mental illness. In some cultures the concept of mental illness does not exist. In general people confuse mental health with mental illness. We provide relevant information for people to understand what they are going through and work with people to explore options to improve their mental health that fits within their culture.
For example a person may present with sleeping difficulties, headaches, sore back and neck and feeling very tired. They may not link these to symptoms of emotional distress and may even be worried about having an unexplained physical illness.
• counselling and support
• referral to specialist services
• social connection activities.
We are currently fully booked for individual counselling. For urgent referral contact the Mental Health Team on 07 3848 1600.
We work with people from diverse cultural and language backgrounds who are:
• experiencing emotional distress due to their life circumstances
• experiencing symptoms of mental illness
• receiving treatment for a mental health condition.
We work with people to develop strategies to enhance their ability to cope with the emotional impact of life’s difficult situations and the impact of the symptoms of mental illness. Through education and information we work with people to enhance their ability to deal with challenging times and live meaningful and rewarding lives.
Our work is tailored to the person’s needs. This may include but is not limited to:
• overcoming feelings of fear or sadness
• understanding more about mental health and how to cope with mental illness, its causes and treatment
• build social connections
• overcoming cultural and language barriers
• improving knowledge about stress and the coping mechanisms to manage stressful situations.
• communicating their own needs to service providers
• understanding how the mental health system works in Australia
• understanding how the health system works in Australia
• exploring beliefs, myths and facts about the stigma associated with experiencing symptoms of mental illness.
We work with people in ways that are:
• confidential and private
• culturally safe
• inclusive of all worldviews
• focused on people’s strengths
• focused on recovery
Information about the Mental Health Program is also available in different languages.
Arabic, Amharic, Bosnian, Chinese, Dari, Farsi, Greek, Italian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Vietnamese.
Counselling and support
Our case managers work with people experiencing emotional distress, mental illness, their families and carers.
They explore the person’s situation in a culturally appropriate way and assist people to develop understanding about mental health issues through education.
They provide emotional support and facilitate a process with the person to develop strategies and skills to deal with the issues affecting their mental health.
For example a person may not understand why a medication is needed and find it difficult to communicate this to the doctor or health worker.
Our case managers are experienced working cross culturally and with interpreters. They normally work with people from one to six months depending on the person’s individual needs.
We work with people to enhance their ability to access other community support and mental health services by:
• providing information about what the service does and its relevance to the person’s recovery
• making people aware of their rights and responsibilities when using the service
• talking with service providers to make sure they are aware of the cultural needs of the person, for example, the need for an interpreter
• facilitating the process of organising appointments when necessary
• working with the person to develop confidence about organising appointments and communicating with service providers.
We facilitate presentations/workshops with community and government services to improve their understanding about how to work with people from multicultural backgrounds to ensure that cultural, language and mental health needs are met.
Social isolation can be a risk factor for mental health.
It is common for refugees and migrants to feel alone and isolated. To reduce the negative effects of social isolation we facilitate group activities and support groups that contribute to improving self – confidence and community connections.
We offer a Conversational English class, an Arts group, a Women’s support group and a Men's Network.
The program is funded by Queensland Health.