Australia is an ethnically diverse nation with one of the largest refugee resettlement programs worldwide. The majority of these ethnically diverse groups choose to resettle in major cities in Australia, and predominately in South Western Sydney, New South Wales (NSW). Research has indicated that exposure to trauma, particularly on the part of refugee groups, in addition to resettlement challenges such as discrimination, low English proficiency, acculturation can contribute to poor mental health outcomes in these groups. Children and youth from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and/or refugee backgrounds can also be subjected to significant resettlement stressors, in addition coping with the usual stressors associated with the adolescent age period. Thus, it is not surprising that adolescence can be a peak period for the emergence of mental distress and onset of some mental illnesses. Despite this however, mental health service utilisation in CALD youth is low with evidence suggesting that children from ethnic minority groups can be reluctant to seek and report health concerns, due to stigma and concerns about the attitudes of their family and community. Relatedly, research has also demonstrated that poor mental health literacy (MHL) of CALD groups in Australia may be a factor in low help-seeking of such populations. This project reports on the evaluation of the teen and Youth Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) programs that were developed and delivered to be responsive to youth from CALD background.

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