ECCV hosted a special multicultural mental health roundtable today to discuss ways to strengthen the mental health and wellbeing of our migrant and refugee communities.

The Hon Ingrid Stitt MP, Minister for Mental Health and Multicultural Affairs, attended the Coburg event along with the Member for Pascoe Vale Anthony Cianflone MP, to launch the next phase of ECCV’s Mental Health & Wellbeing Engagement of Diverse Communities project, made possible with a $230,000 grant from the Victorian government.

This investment will allow ECCV to continue delivering better outcomes for our communities and the mental health workforce. Minister Stitt thanked ECCV for our leadership in advocating for the mental health needs of multicultural communities, and reiterated the state government’s commitment to implement all 74 recommendations handed down from the recent Royal Commission into Victoria’s mental health system.

Mr Cianflone shared personal insights about the cultural taboo around discussing mental health struggles in his community and how that often led to accumulated intergenerational trauma. This was echoed by ECCV CEO, Mo Elrafihi, who also addressed the negative impact of stigma that many people face in our diverse communities.

ECCV’s work with multicultural communities in the ongoing mental health reforms has shown that people from migrant and refugee backgrounds face significant barriers to accessing mental health services, including the lack of translated resources and interpreter services, cultural stigma, lack of culturally appropriate services and trauma-informed care, and fear of discrimination from healthcare providers.

The Royal Commission’s final report emphasised the importance of deepening engagement with diverse communities. As the peak body for multicultural Victoria, ECCV is playing a leading role in translating this recommendation into reality, ensuring the voices of migrant and refugee communities are heard in the mental health reform process.

In 2022, ECCV established the Multicultural Mental Health Network to guide this work and provide a platform for cross-sector collaboration. The Network is chaired by Victorian Multicultural Commissioner and clinical neuropsychologist Dr Judy Tang, and is comprised of members from 30 stakeholder organisations who are mental health practitioners, researchers, lived experience advocates and community leaders.

 Minister Stitt joined many members of ECCV’s Multicultural Mental Health Network in the roundtable discussion, alongside Anthony Cianflone, Mo Elrafihi, ECCV Chairperson Eddie Micallef and other representatives from the mental health sector. The discussion focused on how to transform the state’s mental health system into a culturally safe and inclusive one that can address the needs of Victorians from all backgrounds.


Quotes attributable to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Mental Health, Ingrid Stitt MP:

“This investment continues our support for culturally respectful care, ensuring that mental health services are inclusive and responsive to the diverse needs of our communities.”

“ECCV’s work in upskilling the mental health workforce directly responds to the needs of Victoria’s diverse communities, fostering mental health and wellbeing across Victoria.”


Quotes attributable to the Member for Pascoe Vale, Anthony Cianflone MP:

“This keynote mental health investment will play an important role in servicing our multicultural and diverse communities across Pascoe Vale, Coburg and Brunswick West. We’re investing $230,000 towards ECCV’s Mental Health & Wellbeing Engagement of Diverse Communities project to help ensure that ECCV can continue delivering essential mental health supports and outcomes, by deepening the health sector’s engagement with our growing diverse communities.”


Quotes attributable to ECCV Chairperson, Eddie Micallef:

“ECCV’s Mental Health & Wellbeing Engagement of Diverse Communities project has highlighted the importance of building the capacity of government, the health care system and mental health service providers to respond to and care for our communities in a culturally safe and responsive way. It is great to see the state government take the needs of our communities seriously, and support ECCV to strengthen multicultural mental health and wellbeing.”


Quotes attributable to ECCV CEO, Mo Elrafihi:

“The $230,000 investment from the Victorian government is a game-changer for our work improving multicultural mental health. Addressing mental health issues in our communities isn’t just important—it’s essential. By investing in culturally tailored support, we’re ensuring that every individual, regardless of their cultural background, receives the care and understanding they need to thrive.”

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