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Multicultural campaign aims break down barriers to youth mental health support

Subhash Poudel. Source: SBS

A new campaign is trying to break down the barriers faced by young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds when it comes to talking about their mental health. In a joint initiative between New South Wales Health and the migrant service providers, a series of social media videos are helping to highlight the importance of reaching out and asking for help.

Subash Poudel arrived in Sydney from Nepal shortly before the coronavirus pandemic.

He says nothing could have prepared him for the impact lockdowns would have on his mental health.

"Having just got into Australia and trying to settle in was really challenging for me to even cope with so many things that were happening together, including my studies my fees and support I had. I lost my job."

Subash says stigmas associated with mental health often prevent people like him from seeking help.

"Culturally and linguistically it is very difficult for us to accept the fact (of the) pandemic -- and its impact on us. And the stigma we have around mental health and wellbeing because we are an international student migrant or refugee we try to (not) to jeopardise by the fact that it could impact on our visa, or on any other support."

Now, New South Wales Health is working with Settlement Services International and other providers to tackle that issue.

Director of the New South Wales Health Multicultural Health Communication Service,  Lisa Woodland, says a new in-language video campaign has one clear goal. 

The aim of this campaign is really to encourage young people from multicultural backgrounds to reach out to their families, to their peers, to their community and have conversations about mental health."

Click on the player at the top of the page to listen to this information in Punjabi.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at https://www.sbs.com.au/language/coronavirus

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