Approaches to support child mental health in culturally and linguistically diverse communities

Approaches to support child mental health in culturally and linguistically diverse communities

Anagha Joshi, Julie Ngwabi, Zakiyyah Muhammad and Gill Munro
3 May 2022

This webinar explored approaches to supporting child mental health in culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Portrait of a happy multi-ethnic group of kindergarten age students. The cute children are laying in a pile on the ground in a modern classroom. The kids are laughing and smiling.

This webinar was held on Tuesday, 3 May 2022.

A full recording of the webinar and related resources, including slides, audio and a transcript, will be published soon. Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive a notification when these resources are available.

Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) represents communities with diverse languages, ethnic backgrounds, nationalities, traditions, societal structures and religions. Approximately a quarter of children and young people are from CALD backgrounds in Australia. Children and families from CALD backgrounds can experience challenges that may affect their mental health and wellbeing. They can also face barriers to accessing and engaging with services. Tailoring your approach to work with children and families from CALD communities can help you to better address their mental health and wellbeing needs.

This webinar focuses on working with children and families from non-humanitarian migrant communities, and aims to increase practitioners’ skills and confidence to:

  • Understanding the factors contributing to child mental health in CALD communities
  • Considering ways to proactively engage with CALD communities to support early intervention and prevention
  • Understanding key principles and practice approaches for building trust and rapport with children and families
  • Using strengths-based approaches to supporting child mental health in CALD communities.

The presenters will offer perspectives on what these approaches might mean for mainstream service providers, and for cross-cultural partnerships between services and practitioners.

This webinar will be of interest to professionals working in health, education, social and community service settings with children and families from CALD communities.

Related resources


This webinar was co-produced by CFCA and Emerging Minds in a series focusing on children’s mental health. They are working together as part of the Emerging Minds: National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health, which is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health under the National Support for Child and Youth Mental Health Program.

Emerging Minds logo


Featured image: © GettyImages/FatCamera

About the presenters

Anagha Joshi

Senior Research Officer, Child and Family Evidence team, AIFS

Anagha is a senior research officer at the Australian Institute of Family Studies. She is experienced in evidence synthesis and knowledge translation, and has produced practice papers, resource sheets, short articles and webinars to increase uptake of evidence in the child, family and welfare sector. She recently completed a scoping review to understand what Australian research exists on child mental health in culturally and linguistically diverse communities with Emerging Minds. Anagha has a clinical and program implementation background, with experience working with diverse communities in Australia and internationally.

Julie Ngwabi

Senior Child Mental Health Advisor, Emerging Minds

Julie completed General Nursing training in Zimbabwe, and a Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing before moving to Australia with her family in 2004. In Australia, she completed a Graduate Certificate in Nursing (Dual Diagnosis) and a Masters Degree in Mental Health Nursing. Her passion is family-focused mental health care. For the past 10 years she has worked as a Perinatal Mental Health Clinician, COPMI Coordinator and Family and Carer Consultant in Sydney NSW. She believes in a holistic and systemic approach to mental health care to achieve positive mental health outcomes. Julie is passionate about CALD and social justice issues. In her spare time, she volunteers to support recently arrived refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in the community.

Zakiyyah Muhammad

Psychotherapist and Mental Health Social Worker

Zakiyyah has journeyed alongside some of the most vulnerable members of the global community over the last 30 years; women and their families who have been victims and survivors of domestic and family violence, prostitution, alcohol and drug related problems, rape, abuse, refugees and asylum seekers, those who have experienced FGM, also those who have suffered pregnancy loss, or been pregnant, birthed and parented in some of the most difficult situations imaginable. Zakiyyah's passions are studying and living within a social justice framework. This has led her to obtain a wide range of experience and qualifications that enhance her holistic practice. 

Gill Munro

Practice Development Officer, Emerging Minds

Gill is a social worker who has spent many years as manager of a large specialist drug and alcohol service. During her time in this role Gill noticed that the service experienced huge demand and easily met its KPIs but that it could do better in attracting people from diverse backgrounds. Gill’s passion for ensuring equity and access to the service, together with her discovery that very few people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds accessed the service, led her to seek innovative ways the service could connect with migrant families and communities to facilitate their access.