DOMAIN Responsiveness to diversity
Effective mental health care involves providing personalised, tailored care that is responsive to each person's needs, values and circumstances. This involves working sensitively and responsively with people from diverse groups within the community. To this end, services must ensure the sensitivity, effectiveness and appropriateness of mental health care for people from diverse cultural backgrounds, communities, language groups, and gender and sexual identities. Working with people from diverse backgrounds and communities is not an optional add-on but a core part of mainstream service delivery. In supporting people's recovery, services should be responsive to people from collectivist cultures, recognising that identity and wellbeing in collectivist communities are considered at group level, rather than individually.
In supporting people's recovery, high-quality mental health care is personalised, respectful, relevant and responsive to diversity including people's culture and community background, gender and sexual identity.
Recovery-oriented mental health care considers people in the context of their identity, culture and community.
Mental health professionals
- Understand how cultural differences affect people and their experiences.
- Understand different cultural communication styles and utilise respectful ways of communicating.
- Use non-technical language and utilise the services of an interpreter when necessary.
- Recognise that different people have different understandings and experiences of community and that community has different significance for different people.
- Respectfully enquire about people's background and cultural needs.
- Use innovative practices to meet people's different needs.
- Understand and demonstrate respect in relation to different understandings and meanings attributed to mental health across different cultures.
- Recognise the diverse family and kinship structures across different cultures and the need for family work to accommodate these.
- Be aware of personal values that may unintentionally affect practice.
- Develop knowledge of concepts of Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing and the historical and contemporary factors that impact on Aboriginal Australians' wellbeing.
- Ensure the availability of interpreters.
- Develop links with community leaders and community-managed organisations and resource centres where there is a significant cohort of clients from a particular culture or community.
- Conduct service planning and mapping that recognises the diverse populations that the organisation services, and make staff aware of this as part of care planning for individual clients.
- Review local policies and procedures to incorporate principles of responsiveness to diversity including people's culture and community background, gender and sexual identity.