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Specialised mental health support now available in your language

Source: AAP

A new online resource HeartChat puts people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in touch with mental health professionals relevant to their background.

Those seeking support will be able to access a directory of mental health professionals, who can speak a patient’s language or who are of their culture or faith and will be able to book a telehealth appointment as well.

Clinical neuropsychologist and commissioner at the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Dr Judy Tang, says having someone to speak to who doesn't need religious norms, cultural nuances, or political or sexual preferences explained to them, can be significant - and even life-saving.

Neuropsychologist Dr Tang says cultural and language barriers in existing counselling can discourage people from seeking help.

“It's unfortunate sometimes mental health professionals just have their own assumptions and that can come up wrong when it comes to culture or faith. When they get so wrong, in some cases, that's when a person loses interest and motivation to continue on accessing mental health services, and that's what we definitely don't want to give, that negative experience to our multicultural communities.”

Culturally diverse Australians have long faced difficulty in accessing support services, due to language or cultural barriers, stigma in their communities around mental illness or just not knowing where to start the journey towards care. During the pandemic, calls to mental health support services have risen sharply and hence Dr Tang says it has never been more important for people from diverse backgrounds to have easy access to the right kind of support. 

To hear the full report click on the audio link above.

ਆਪਣੀ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਵਿੱਚ ਵਧੇਰੇ ਮਾਨਸਿਕ ਸਿਹਤ ਸੇਵਾਵਾਂ ਲਈ, ਇਥੇ ਕਲਿੱਕ ਕਰੋ:

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Find out what restrictions are in place for your state or territory.

Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.

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

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