The WA Mental Health Conference welcomes diverse communities and cultures.
Almost half of all Australians were born in another country or have a parent who was born overseas, and culture can play a huge part in attitudes to mental health issues and willingness to seek help. Language barriers, social isolation and discrimination experiences can create further complexities.
Specific initiatives are listed below.
Governance and shaping of the conference is led by a Conference Reference Group of diverse representatives.
Our reference group members are themselves from very diverse cultural backgrounds and several have a professional background in CaLD services.
These include our CaLD sub-committee initiated by researcher Hanh Ngo from UWA and including a representative from the Office of Multicultural Interests.
With thanks to the Office of Multicultural Interests, there will be four subsidised registrations available to people from diverse backgrounds, who have a low income and an interest in mental health.
Pre-conference Multicultural Forum, Friday 7 July
The concept of a pre-conference forum was developed to allow a more in-depth exploration of a specific topic, than is practical within normal conference programming restraints.
The 2016 pre-conference forum was extremely popular and successful, exploring Aboriginal Mental Health issues. Following this success, 2017’s topic explores cultural diversity and mental health.
With the generous support of Event Sponsor Richmond Wellbeing and Government Partner, the Office of Multicultural Interests, this forum will be an inclusive, half-day professional exchange, open to all conference delegates and the wider community to be held at WAAMH’s central Perth premises.
Both venues offer a space for prayer or reflection during the day, for religious or cultural groups who may require these facilities.
People with specific dietary needs such as kosher, halal or vegetarian meals, will be catered for.
While alcohol will be available for purchase at specific evening events, we understand that some cultural groups avoid alcohol. Alcohol is not part of the registration fee and is available in moderation, by private purchase only.
The conference offers individualised support to assist anyone who may need assistance.
Support is customised to meet individual needs, but examples include:
- One-to-one assistance helping people register a content proposal or for the event, using methods which are most accessible and suitable for each individual
- Engagement Officer Carli Sheers is dedicated to help, support and empower participation
- The opportunity to request additional support via the registration process
Watch this space for more ways the conference is engaging people from diverse backgrounds, or contact us to suggest your ideas.