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Government establishes Transcultural Mental Health Centre (Australia)

August 11, 2011

The Australian government recently announced $2.7 million in funding over three years for the Queensland Transcultural Mental Health Centre (QTMHC). In partnership with the University of Melbourne’s Centre for International Mental Health, the Victoria Transcultural Psychiatry Unit, and the University of South Australia’s Mental Health Nursing Group, Human Rights and Security Cluster, the QTMHC will provide mental health services for culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD) in Australia.

The government recognizes that approximately 15 percent of Australia’s population speaks a language other than English, and this creates barriers to service access.

There will be an expansion of the Personal Helpers and Mentors Program (PHaMs) which will support more people with mental illness, including CALD communities. A doubling of the number of Family Mental Health Support Services will place a focus on vulnerable groups such as children from CALD communities which amounts to over 30,000 vulnerable and at risk children and young people (up to 16 years), and their families.

Additionally, 45,000 people, particularly those in CALD communities, will benefit from the creation of a single mental health online portal. This portal gives users anonymity and confronts added levels of stigma, reluctance, or barriers that occur when using face-to-face services.

For more information on this project, visit www.health.gov.au.

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