This year's TheMHS conference, held in Sydney, featured two presentations on the work of cultural portfolio holders (CPH) in Victoria.
The Mental Health Services Conference, or TheMHS as it is better known, is an international event held in various parts of Australia or New Zealand, drawing participants from broad geographic origins. Consumers, carers, their consultant representatives, and a diversity of service providers come together to share innovation and progress in the field of mental health.
On the suggestion of network members, VTMH-based program coordinators, Shehani De Silva and Kimberley Wriedt presented “Doing cultural diversity work: What do cultural portfolio holders tell us about their needs?” Using findings of a survey carried out at the end of 2016, they showcased the state-wide Cultural Portfolio Holder Network, and the achievements of members. They described ways of performing the role and highlighted the kinds of supports CPHs need in order to champion diversity issues in their workplaces.
Jan Kilicaslan, Brigid Ryan and Emma Bohmer, from St Vincent’s Mental Health Service, and Harvey Tuck, VTMH's partnership consultant to St Vincent's, presented “Diversity responsiveness and the cultural portfolio holder role in improving multicultural consumer experiences of mental health services”. They discussed the work of CPHs within the service, how CPH representatives are embedded across various mental health teams, and the changes that the CPHs have introduced that are improving consumer experiences of the service.
Image: Harvey Tuck, Shehani De Silva, Sue Drummond, Kimberley Wriedt: VTMH