PROGRAMS | Service Development Program

The aim of the Service Development program is to support mental health services to provide culturally relevant services to people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds by providing systemic consultancy.


The activities undertaken by the Service Development program include:

  • Consultation and partnership with services to explore the development and implementation of innovative and flexible models of culturally sensitive service delivery within existing capacity.
  • Research, evaluate and compile information to resources specialist mental health services, PDRSS's and policy advisors in state and commonwealth governments.
  • Partner specialist mental health services and PDRSS's to reflect on and evaluate barriers for CALD clients in existing organisational systems and structures.
  • Providing advice, support and consultancy to mental health services promoting culturally appropriate service delivery.
  • Resource specialist mental health services to improve their capacity to cater to CALD communities.
Current Mental Health Service Development Partnerships
Directory of Bilingual Mental Health Professionals

The VTPU has produced the 2001 Directory of Bilingual Mental Health Professionals (Third Edition). This directory is designed to facilitate the referral of patients to a clinician who speaks the patient’s language. Bilingual practitioners represented in the directory represent over 140 language groups and are committed to providing services within their sphere of expertise to people from non-English speaking backgrounds. These practitioners may also be able to assist colleagues with cultural information relevant to the clinical situation.

[access bilingual directory]

Guidelines on Working with Interpreters

The VTPU has produced a manual on how to work effectively with interpreters in a clinical mental health setting. It outlines possible structures for establishing and operating an interpreter service and provides information on factors which need to be considered when working with interpreters. The manual, "Working with Interpreters: Guidelines for Mental Health Porfessionals" are available online. To access the manual please click below. Note: Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view the file.

download Interpreter Guidelines [pdf 72 KB]

Bilingual Case Management Program

The Bilingual Case Management Program was established in Area Mental Health Services in the western region of Melbourne in 1996. Eleven bilingual case managers (who speak Croatian, Greek, Italian, Turkish and Vietnamese) are employed in case management positions. Their roles include clinical case management with clients from the same ethnic background as well as other backgrounds, secondary consultation to other staff, family education and support and community education