Mental Health National Consultation


On Monday 3rd June, MYAN hosted a national consultation to hear directly from those working with young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds about mental health issues affecting young people and how services can best support their mental health and well-being. Mental health, and the lack of culturally inclusive youth services, is consistently identified by young people and the sector as a priority issue. It was one of MYAN’s 8 policy priorities in our Federal Election Platform. This consultation was part of a research project being conducted by the Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) in Victoria, commissioned by the National Centre for Excellence in Youth Mental Health.

Participants from a range of sectors, including education and training, settlement, government and health services came together from across Australia to share valuable insights on current gaps in service provision and examples of good practice in mental health services for young people from refugee and migrant and refugee backgrounds.

Gaps included limited or no availability of interpreting services or services delivered in language; stigma, cultural beliefs and awareness related to mental health, service system eligibility and referrals, and limited resources for regional/rural Australia. Models of good practice were also shared, with co-location services, whole-of-school approaches and outreach highlighted as positive examples, among others.

The  project will develop a best practice framework to support the 31 National Primary Health Networks (PHN)s in commissioning effective, high quality programs aimed at improving the mental health and well-being of young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds. MYAN will share the outcomes of the project and continue engaging with the sector to inform our ongoing advocacy in this area.

If you would like to join a Google group  on this issue, contact MYAN’s Policy and Advocacy Officer, Shannon White –