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CMH2003 - Transcultural mental health

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Ms L Andary


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Off-campus)


The effects of cultural background on the definitions of mental illnesses and the implications of cultural and community structures for the delivery of mental health services. Major areas covered include adaptation and acculturation, characteristics of Aboriginal and ethnic communities in Australia, racism and prejudice, the mental health of Aboriginal and immigrant communities in Australia, cultural assumptions of standard methods of assessment and treatment, explanatory models of illness, State mental health policy, psychiatric service utilisation, and gaps in current service provision.


Upon completion of this unit, students will have:

  1. Developed a greater sensitivity to the impact of trauma, migration and settlement on mental health;
  2. Explored definitions of mental illness across cultures and the continuing debate concerning differing conceptions of mental illness;
  3. Gained an understanding of the cultural factors in assessment and treatment approaches;
  4. Gained knowledge of the major national and Victorian policy approaches to providing mental health services to Aboriginal and ethnic communities; and
  5. Developed an understanding of current gaps in service provision to Aboriginal and ethnic communities in preparation for participation in policy development, service delivery and evaluation.


Two written assignments each of approximately 3,000 words each (50% each).