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Journey to Home: Investigating mental health, homelessness and culturally and linguistic diversity populations in WA

Start and anticipated finishing date: January 2020 – December 2021

Funding: Healthway Exploratory Grant

Project Team: Dr Gemma Crawford (Curtin University), Dr Krysten Blackford (Curtin University), Dr Roanna Lobo (Curtin University), Assoc Prof Alison Reid (Curtin University), Assoc Prof Yun Zhao (Curtin University), Assoc Prof Richard Norman (Curtin University), Kahlia McCausland (Curtin University).

Advisory Committee: Vivienne Pillay (Ethnic Community Council WA), Ramdas Sankaran (Multicultural Services Centre WA), Helen Maddocks (Office of Multicultural Interests), John Berger (WA Alliance to End Homelessness), Julia Prior (Department of Communities), David Axworthy (Mental Health Commission), Leah Watkins (Ruah Community Services), Christina Pollard (Act-Belong-Commit).

Context: Approximately 13% of people accessing homelessness services in 2016 were born overseas. People who are homeless may experience social exclusion or be at risk for a range of mental health issues, potentially exacerbated for those from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) backgrounds. Migrant mental health may decline on arrival due to a range of factors relating to settlement. Lack of appropriate mental health and social services are barriers to secure housing; however there are limited recommendations for action in Western Australian (WA) policy and strategy.

Project overview and aims: The aim of this exploratory research is to identify the unique needs of CaLD populations who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in WA and who may have experienced or be at risk for mental health problems and social isolation and make recommendations for interventions and services that are provided in a culturally appropriate, holistic and equitable way. The research will inform approaches to increase access to secure housing and improve mental outcomes for CALD people who are vulnerable for or experiencing homelessness. The primary target group of this research is people from CaLD backgrounds living in WA who are vulnerable for or have experienced homelessness and who have experienced or are at risk for mental health problems or social isolation. The secondary target group is WA policy makers and service providers working in housing, migration and mental health with experience working with or for the primary target group.

Objectives:​

  • Engage policymakers, services deliverers, researchers, health promotion practitioners, advocates and those with lived experiences in meaningful, solution orientated research processes. 

  • Describe the risk profile of people from CaLD backgrounds who are vulnerable to or have experienced homelessness in WA and the impact of and on mental health and social isolation.

  • Examine experiences of social isolation and mental health impacts amongst people from CaLD backgrounds and barriers & enablers to securing stable housing.

  • Explore migration and settlement journeys amongst people from CaLD backgrounds who are vulnerable to or have experienced homelessness in WA.

  • Describe existing services for people from CaLD backgrounds who are vulnerable to or have experienced homelessness in WA and identify gaps for prevention and service delivery.

  • Examine perceptions amongst people from CaLD backgrounds regarding acceptability of existing homelessness and housing services and prevention strategies for mental health.

  • Engage policymakers, service deliverers, researchers, health promotion practitioners, advocates and those with lived experiences in meaningful, solution oriented research processes.

  • Describe the risk profile of people from CaLD backgrounds who are vulnerable to or have experienced homelessness in WA and the impact of and on mental health and social isolation.

  • Examine experiences of social isolation and mental health impacts amongst people from CaLD backgrounds and barriers & enablers to securing stable housing.

  

Project impacts: Data will support the case for a greater focus on the needs of CaLD people who are homeless or vulnerable for homelessness with relation to mental health and housing and provide data and tangible recommendations to facilitate this action. The proposed outcomes of the research will be:

  1. An audit of data and services in WA relevant to CaLD health promotion.

  2. Increased understanding of the lived experiences and journey of migrants and CaLD populations in WA.

  3. Profiles of those most at risk in order to tailor services and strategies.

  4. Involvement of community members in research which directly impacts them through effective co-design processes.

  5. Policy and practice ready priorities with consideration and planning for cost effectiveness, value and acceptability for all stakeholders involved.

Contact

 

Curtin University (Building 400)
GPO Box U1987
Bentley Perth WA 6845

 

08 9266 1071

 

copahm@curtin.edu.au

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