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Healthline Connects
Healthline Connects

October 10 is World Mental Health Day

The 2007 World Mental Health Day Campaign is focuses on transcultural mental health services and treatment. With so many migrants in any given country, the need for culturally sensitive care is increasingly important - so important that the United Nations offers a Guide to Working from Within: 24 Tips for Culturally Sensitive Programming. Some of the advice the UN offers is:
  • Never Give Up - closed societies change slowly. Small changes are significant and may be more enduring over the long term
  • Mobilize traditional and religious leaders: engage respected authorities to shape opinions
  • Outreach through popular culture: Use music and dance to communicate ideas and involve young people in the process
  • Honor commitments: Follow through on any promise you make to build confidence and trust
  • Be a facilitator rather than authority: You don't have all the answers so communicate a message of neutrality and encourage others to share their views
Working with interpreters is challenging - especially in delicate matters of mental health
  • Ask the interpreter to translate literally rather than paraphrase
  • Maintain eye contact with the client and direct questions to the client, not the interpreter
  • Ask short, simple questions, one at a time
The culturally competent clinician takes the time to gain knowledge about cultures and populations and:
  • values diversity
  • is aware of transcultural dynamics and sensitive to them
  • adapts to the cultural values of others
The elderly lead the world's new cases of mental illness. Respecting the elderly and their culture is especially important. Awareness of religious and spiritual beliefs will help bridge barriers. Maintaining professionalism and confidentiality is an important aspect of building trust.

Thank you freshlysqueezed for use of photo Sikh elder.
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