Talking openly with young people from multicultural communities about our own mental health shows them how to begin breaking the stigma that prevents them from seeking help when they need it.
That was one of the practical insights shared at MYAN’s recent forum. The Mental Health and Multicultural Young People forum held in Blacktown in June 2021, brought together multicultural young people and services to share thinking, practice, research and strategies about how mental health services ought to be designed to provide targeted support.
Those of us working with multicultural young people can make a significant difference to supporting their mental health by showing that we seek help too.
“There is no shame in mental illness. There is no shame in seeking help. One of the most important things you can for a young person is to model help-seeking behaviour.” – Alex long, CEO MYAN NSW
We recognise that stigma around mental illness is a significant barrier to seeking support, particularly for young people from multicultural backgrounds, who are often dealing with varying cultural understandings of mental health.
It is ok to say that you are not ok. Young people need to see us reaching out and seeking support when we are struggling.
This sends a strong message around reducing the stigma of mental illness and can contribute significantly to normalise help-seeking behaviour for young people.
“There is only one person who can sail your ship, and that is you. So, look after yourself and don’t worry about what other people think.” – Andrew (Woody) Woodland, Batyr