Finding support for a mental health challenge can be tricky if you don’t speak English.

How do you articulate your feelings and ask for help?

New multilingual resources produced by headspace Port Adelaide (hPA) aim to make it easier for young people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds to access information and support.

To be launched tomorrow (Friday, December 8) the resources explore types of mental illness and offer tips on how to nurture healthy head space.

“All young people face challenges in their lives but young people from CALD backgrounds face additional pressures,” said Stacey Roy, Manager, hPA.

“They may feel torn between cultures and experience social isolation, violence and discrimination. This makes them even more vulnerable, yet we also know they experience more barriers when trying to access health and mental health services.

“Having access to youth-friendly, high-quality youth mental health information in a range of languages leads to a greater awareness of available supports, increased mental health literacy, and earlier help-seeking for all young people.”

Funded by the SA Department for Communities and Social Inclusion, the resources explore anxiety, depression, trauma, and other information in Persian, Chinese, Greek, Italian and Vietnamese.

This week, Centacare’s suicide intervention and prevention program ASCEND revealed a rapid rise in the number of consultations for school students – many from CALD backgrounds – at risk of suicide in South Australia.

Aspiring paediatric mental nurse Angie Bui, who is Vietnamese Australian, said cultural beliefs about mental illness could 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; there is still a lot of stigmatism and misunderstanding attached to it.”

A member of hPA’s Youth Reference Group, Angie (pictured) said she hoped the new resources would break down existing communication barriers, and start vital conversations about mental health across cultures in the community.

“Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. 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.

“The fact sheets will support young people and their families to not only recognise challenges they may be experiencing, but how to access vital holistic and recovery-based care through headspace, Centacare and other service providers in the community.”


*Join headspace Port Adelaide to celebrate the launch of the new multilingual youth mental health resources tomorrow (Friday, December 8) from 3pm at 78-80 St Vincent St, Port Adelaide. For more information, please phone 8215 6340.