Story Category: Featured

Welcome to the new VTMH website

We continue to work to provide accurate, up-to-date information to help you assist people experiencing mental health issues. You might be working or have an interest in, for example, the public health, human service, education, or community sectors. However when you come to us, we want to make it easy to access resources that help you support the mental health of diverse people, communities and systems.

Through our new website, we invite you to learn more about VTMH services, find specific information you may be looking for, and connect with us for collaboration.

Collaborating, supporting, equipping and advocating — to help you help others.

We hope the new VTMH website gives you improved access to our purpose, how we work, our guiding principles, stories of those we’ve collaborated with – including how we’ve designed theories and practices to co-produce resources, build capacity and translate knowledge – as well as information about our team, news, seminars, webinars and forums you can register to attend, and downloadable and interactive online learning resources. You can also sign up for our newsletters and campaigns.

It also includes more information on our strategic objectives to collaborate, support, equip and advocate, as well as our values of acknowledging responsibility, holding multiple perspectives, advocacy and equity, respect and humility, life-long learning, and collective action.

We look forward to welcoming you to our new website, and to continuing to support you in your important work. 

View the launch video below.

VTMH contributions to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System commenced in 2019 and VTMH has been engaged with the work of the Commission over the past 18 months.

For instance  

  • we wrote a submission to the Commission regarding its terms of reference
  • we joined calls to make community consultations more inclusive and ensure Commission information is available in community languages
  • the VTMH Manager appeared as an expert witness
  • the VTMH team spoke with policy officers about culturally responsive service design and empowering communities
  • we facilitated a roundtable event with the Commission and the VTMH Reference Group

Terms of reference

In February 2019, the Victorian community was asked to help set the Commission’s terms of reference. Read our submission in full here.  

Expert witness  

As part of a week-long focus on LGBTIQ+ and culturally and linguistically diverse communities, Adriana Mendoza appeared at a public hearing in May 2019. Read her expert witness statement  here and also her contribution to this video. 

Roundtable discussion  

At a recent roundtable discussion, Chair of the Royal Commission  Penny Armytage, Commissioner Dr Alex Cockram and Commission directors and principal policy officers met with members of the VTMH team and VTMH Reference Group. Together, we focused on three themes: community, consumers and carer perspectives, workforce development, as well as governance, data and research. Issues are summarised here.

Throughout this time, we’ve highlighted that health and illness experiences are mediated by power and culture. Similarly, we know that mental health means many things within and across groups. The evidence is clear. Inequality harms health and wellbeing and, for many, help is beyond their reach.

This is why cultural safety is integral to delivering fair and responsive services – hand-in-hand with engaging communities and community-based agencies as partners. 

Our Voices

Stories of Carers from Refugee and Migrant Backgrounds.

Each narrative is told in the carer’s original language, and has been subtitled in English. Each narrative has also been voice dubbed into the five community languages, Arabic, Vietnamese, Turkish, Dari and Somali, and these videos are available on DVD from Victorian Transcultural Mental Health. 

Click on the images below to watch each narrative in its original language and subtitled in English.

The films explore the lives of five carers from Afghani, Egyptian, Somali, Turkish and Vietnamese communities. The carers speak independently, yet collectively, of common difficulties encountered in advocating for culturally sensitive and culturally-responsive mental health care and the benefits of seeking support.  The stories of the carers have been uniquely captured via the collaboration and support of many leading mental health, carer and multi-cultural organisations (see these below) and produced by the Australian film house, Digital Black. 

VTMH would like to thank all the individual storytellers, their families and friends, the film-makers, Digital Black, support workers and everyone who contributed to the making of this extraordinary project. The participants and organisers hope it encourages people to seek support and to share their experiences.

Mr Ly

Mr Ly

Mr Ly came to Australia by boat in 1980. He and his wife have been caring for their son full time since 2001 with the help of a Vietnamese carer support group. Vietnamese with English subtitles.

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Kevser

Kevser

Kevser has been the primary carer for her daughter for many years. Joining a carer support group gave her the courage to negotiate the stigma attached to her daughter’s illness. Turkish with English subtitles.

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Amina

Amina

Amina’s brother was diagnosed with a mental illness soon after arriving in Australia. Amina is a social worker, works with her community and explores negative perceptions about mental illness. Somali with English subtitles.

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Said

Said

Said is an engineer and an accredited interpreter. He works as carer consultant and is passionate about advocating for the needs of carers. Arabic with English subtitles.

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Arefa

Arefa

Arefa is from Afghanistan and talks about her experience in caring for her father was diagnosed with anxiety/depression. Dari with English subtitles.

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Ordering a copy of the DVD

A limited number of hard copies of the DVDs were produced to coincide with the launch of this resource in October 2014. Hard copies of the DVD series, complete with an information kit about the project, can be requested. Expressions of interest will also help identify demand and potential for pursuing options for further print runs. You can register your interest in ordering hard copy of the DVDs by clicking the button below.

Register your Interest Here

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