In 2017-18, the Mental Health Commission of NSW undertook a project looking into the mental health literacy levels of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. The aim was to identify barriers to help seeking and raise awareness of mental health issues. A matrix was created to identify which communities to work with and where the Commission could make the greatest impact.
Through a series of consultations, the Mental Health Commission of NSW identified women from Indian backgrounds as a priority group where there is opportunity to help increase knowledge on mental health issues.
In March 2018, the Mental Health Commission of NSW engaged the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service (MHCS) to develop an initative to help increase mental health literacy of Indian women in NSW through community engagement from April to June 2018.
The aim of the mental health literacy project was to:
- co-design the elements of a future communication campaign
- run communication activities such as, short videos that can be used and shared on social media
- media interviews in various Indian languages and English
- evaluation of the communication and community engagement.
The learnings from this initiative were developed into a report, produced by MHCS, to help guide work on a communication campaign targeting the Indian women in NSW that would:
- Give permission to people to talk about mental health issues, depression, anxiety, etc
- Reduce stigma through talking about mental health issues
- Encourage conversations in women from Indian communities in NSW and those that support them.
More recently in 2019, the Commission worked with community members and the MHCS to develop a social media campaign and community consultation based around the PhotoVoice project led by MHCS held in September 2019.