Approximately 20% of Australian adults experience a common mental illness each year. Among young people, mental illness is on the increase. In the past year there has been an increase in suicides amount African young people and there is anecdotal evidence of an increase of suicides among the Zimbabwean youth Australia.
In many Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities there is stigma and shame attached to mental health problems (issues). As a result, many people do not openly discuss or seek medical help in Australia. Others are not aware of services and supports available to them. Anecdotal evidence suggests there are huge gaps in services for multicultural communities (especially availability of culturally responsive services and support programs).
In response to this, YFSN is developing an outreach program to fill this gap. The “Outreach program” is aimed at providing mental health therapeutic support to enable individuals, parents, families, children, youths, and adults within the Zimbabwean and other African communities to develop coping strategies, stay well connected and being able to discuss about their mental illness from a cultural perspective with no fear of discrimination.