Mental Health in Immigrant and Refugee Communities

The 2018 International Mental Health Conference is almost upon us again, this year the conference will be held over the 8th – 10th August at the RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

This annual conference is now in its 19th year and continues to be the pinnacle event in the mental health industry. The Conference provides an invaluable opportunity to build relationships and to share knowledge, research and latest policies.

Dr Harry Minas, Head, Global and Cultural Mental Health Unit | Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne joins us at the conference to discuss ‘Mental Health in Immigrant and Refugee Communities’.


Cultural and linguistic diversity is a core feature of the Australian population and a valued element of national identity, with the proportion of the population that will be overseas-born projected to be 32% by 2050. While mental health system reform has been occurring for several decades the challenges presented by cultural and linguistic diversity have not been effectively met. A review of Australian research on mental health of immigrant and refugee communities and their patterns of mental health service use reveals many gaps. Although lower rates of utilization of specialist public mental health services by immigrants and refugees are repeatedly reported it remains unclear whether this represents variations in prevalence, of treatment gap or both.

Prevalence across communities or different magnitudes of treatment gap. A review of studies published in four key Australian journals reveals considerable neglect of cultural and linguistic diversity in Australia’s mental health research, and systematic exclusion from research participation of persons with limited English. National mental health data collections continue to fail to include even basic language and cultural data. A set of strategic actions will be suggested to improve knowledge about, and policy and service responses to, mental health problems in immigrant and refugee communities.


KEYNOTE SPEAKER Harry Minas is Head of the Global and Cultural Mental Health Unit at the University of Melbourne. Harry is a psychiatrist whose work is in three broad areas: mental health system development, particularly in low-resource and post-conflict settings; culture and mental health, with a focus on mental health of immigrant and refugee communities and the development of services for culturally diverse societies; and the human rights of people with mental illness.

For further information on the 19th International Mental Health Conference and to secure your spot please visit



Please follow and like us:

Q&A With Mitch Wallis, ANZMH Association Ambassador

Previous post

The Secret of Self-Respect: We Teach Other People How to Treat Us

Next post