Gaps, challenges and pathways to improve Asian mental wellbeing—WTMF project research findings

Sixteen interviews were conducted with 17 participants between December 2020 and February 2021. Interview data were thematically analysed to identify key gaps and challenges, and strategies to improve service delivery, workforce development, health promotion and Asian advocacy.
The findings on service gaps and challenges indicate:

  1. Mainstream MH&A organisations recognise the existence of significant service gaps for Asianpeople and have been trying to address them.
  2. The importance of recognising diverse needs within Asian communities, including those with intersectional identities.
  3. Stigma around mental health and addiction is pervasive among the Asian communities, which hinders help-seeking behaviour.

The second part of the study is to find strategic pathways to improve Asian mental wellbeing. There are several valuable insights provided by our participants.

Firstly, to improve MH&A services for Asians, it is important that

1) the mainstream staff receive support in learning about diverse Asian experiences, reducing stereotypes and racism in service delivery

2) language and cultural support are provided to better serve the Asian communities; Telehealth interpreting is a more viable and better option

3) service delivery design and interventions provided should be able to engage the family, not just the individuals

Secondly, to improve workforce development, we advocate for targeted cultural competency programmes for Asian staff. It suggests that most cultural competency training is too generic and does not include an introduction about the Asian culture and norms, and engagement knowledge with Asian clients. Also, for mainstream services with a large Asian customer base, building a larger Asian workforce is a solution.

Thirdly, in terms of improving public health promotion, our findings also revealed that there is a need to develop more Asian specific resources. Two kinds of resources are needed:

1) Informative resources that can help raise awareness around specific MH&A issues for
Asian communities, and

2) resources for the mainstream workforce around cultural competency in relation to different Asian groups.

Alongside that, more public health work should be focused on raising awareness using media and promotion that are more friendly to the Asian audience. Clinical leaders and frontline staff acknowledged that providing intervention for Asians should target the family, not individuals.

Finally, there are four reported strategic pathways to improve advocacy for our Asian people:

1) We identified that there is keen interest for further collaboration with other organisations to more effectively influence policy

2) Asians are needed on the mainstream Board to inform and influence at a service level

3) Asian services should seek more partnerships for additional resources and flexibility

4) Asian services need more autonomy in decision making.

The findings from this study will form the basis for future collaboration between AFS and Platform Trust to better support Asian people with their MH&A needs.

Full report is attached below.

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Gaps, challenges and pathways to improve Asian mental wellbeing—WTMF project research findings


AFS Research

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