A determination to spread cultural awareness of mental health is driving Angie Bui’s nursing career.
The 22-year-old, who is Vietnamese Australian, has seen firsthand how beliefs about mental illness can affect people’s readiness – and willingness – to seek support.
“Talking about mental health is quite foreign for a lot of my local and international friends and their families from culturally and linguistically (CALD) diverse backgrounds; there is still a lot of stigmatism and misunderstanding attached to it,” Angie says.
The aspiring paediatric mental health nurse hopes new multilingual resources developed by headspace Port Adelaide (hPA) will start vital conversations about mental health across cultures in the community.
To be launched next Friday, December 8, the fact sheets explore anxiety, depression, trauma, tips for healthy headspace and other information in different languages, including Persian, Chinese, Greek, Italian and Vietnamese.
Funded by the SA Department for Communities and Social Inclusion, the fact sheets close a gap in high-quality multilingual youth mental health resources for young people and their families.
“Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of,” says Angie (pictured), who is a member of hPA’s Youth Reference Group.
“It’s the same as physical illness, just not visible, so it’s crucial that we spread awareness about the different types of mental illness and support services available in the community.”
Research shows people from CALD communities are at greater risk of developing mental health problems due to cultural differences, social isolation, and other risk factors.
However, stigma surrounding mental illness, lack of awareness about available services and difficulties speaking English can make it harder for them to access support services.
“That’s why having these fact sheets translated into different languages is so important because it breaks down some of those communication barriers for young people and their families,” Angie says.
“The fact sheets will support them to not only recognise challenges they may be experiencing but how to access vital holistic and recovery-based care through headspace, Centacare or other service providers in the community.”