Mental Health in Multicultural Victoria

In December 2010, the Victorian Mental Health Reform Council established a time-limited (12 months) Migrant Mental Health Taskforce (the Taskforce), a joint collaboration between the Victorian Mental Health Reform Council (VMHRC) and the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC). Its terms of reference include identifying areas or communities facing particular challenges so that policy, practice and service redevelopment responds to their need, foster partnerships and leverage resources. The member organisations of the Taskforce were the Victorian Transcultural Psychiatry Unit – St Vincent’s Hospital, Victorian Multicultural Commission Foundation House, Ethic Community Council of Victoria, Action on Disability in Ethnic Communities, VICSERV, Centre for Multicultural Youth, Global and Cultural Mental Health – University of Melbourne and MIND. Given the limited tenure of the Taskforce, member organisations worked towards the establishment of Mental Health in Multicultural Victoria (MHiMV) to continue the work of the Taskforce.

The establishment of MHiMV creates an opportunity to reconfigure the current investment in multicultural mental health in Victoria (primarily through funding of the Victorian Transcultural Psychiatry Unit) by amalgamating VTPU and GCMH to create a Centre for International and Multicultural Mental Health. The synergies and advantages of scale that would be achieved would:

  • Support implementation of Victoria’s mental health strategy;
  • Support the Victorian mental health workforce strategy by: (a). creating articulated professional development and university award programs to develop career pathways and support recruitment and retention of the best people in Victoria’s mental health and psychiatric disability rehabilitation and support services; (b). scaling up leadership development training programs;
  • Leverage current Victorian government investment in the VTPU and competitive grant funding received by GCMH by through non-state sources of service development, training and research funds; and
  • Consolidate Victoria’s position as a world leader in multicultural international mental health.

MHiMV partners include:

  • Centre for International and Multicultural Mental Health (GCMH & VTPU)

  • Foundation for Survivors of Torture

  • Centre for Multicultural Youth

  • Action on Disability in Ethnic Communities

  • Psychiatric Disability Services of Victoria (VicServ)

  • Mind Australia

  • Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria.