In November, the Multicultural Youth Affairs Network (MYAN) NSW in partnership with Granville TAFE hosted the first Sector Development Forum for 2010 – Multicultural Young People and Mental Health in NSW. The focus of the day was to provide an overview of the issues confronted by multicultural young people in service access and provision, what needs to be considered when servicing this group and also what services are available that best meets their needs.
A broad cross section of 50 participants from the multicultural and youths sectors, mental health workers, and local and state government workers attended on the day. The speakers on the day were Adrine Santos, Transcultural Mental Health Centre, Adolescent Mental Health Projects who provided an overview of current mental health system and services for multicultural young people. David Keegan a teacher at Granville TAFE as well as a Mental Health First Aid Youth facilitator spoke about some of the early indicators of mental illness in multicultural young people and looked at all the factors, which contribute to their mental health. Thirdly, Lina Ishu, Girls and Young Women’s Project Officer at STARTTS presented about art therapy and group programs with young people and what effective intervention using these techniques looks like.
The second part of the morning focused on a consultation with participants to generate information about the issues that workers face regarding multicultural young people and mental health. A discussion paper will be written which includes information from the consultation. A Survey Monkey evaluation was also sent to those who attended the results of which are still be assessed but the overall feedback for the day was positive.