On the 29th of November headspace Armadale hosted their third annual Cultural Conversations night, targeted at hearing and addressing any questions or hesitations by the culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) community towards seeking help for mental health problems.
headspace Armadale was packed to the brim with CaLD community members, leaders and the broader community ready to discuss these issues. Approximately 70 guests attended the evening. The night started off with a fantastic set by our key note speaker, renowned slam poet and CaLD community activist, Sukhjit Khalsa. She shared the experiences of her community around seeking support for mental health as practicing Sikhs and spoke about the cultural differences as a first generation Australian and the impacts it has on identity and wellbeing. After which the night transitioned into a panel discussion with key CaLD community leaders, including:
- Clinical Psychologist – Lakers Komaiya
- General Practitioner and headspace representative – Dr Richard Gibson
- Youth President of African Communities – Josephine Zimama
- Youth Reference Group member – Sachin North
- Past headspace Client – Annas Davids
- Shout out Speaker -- Habiba Asim
- Key Note – Sukhjit Khalsa
The discussion lasted for an hour and brought to light many important questions, topics and ideas within the CaLD community such as the beliefs of different communities towards seeking help for mental health and how faiths and customs may affect a person’s willingness to seek support. We also discussed approaches towards how we and the community can influence young people from CaLD backgrounds to advocate for mental health as well as many, many more invaluable subject matters. The panel also featured a question and answer segment with members of the community, allowing for direct engagement between the CaLD community, headspace and CaLD community leaders.
After these serious and productive dialogues, it was time for some fun! It all started with a comedic set by Millenium Marrion where he talked about the challenges he faced being an Indian growing up in Australia and how he has turned those negative experiences into positive, laughable moments through his comedy routines. Millenium is also supporting headspace through his show “Laugh It Off” featured at The Regal Theatre on the 18th of December 2018. Part of the proceeds will go towards headspace Armadale services.
The event concluded with guests being treated to a buffet of cultural cuisine and the opportunity to enjoy a myriad of exciting activities such as henna art, drum beat (my personal favourite) and more. The feedback received from our guests were overwhelmingly positive. They felt that the speakers and the content of the event were both relevant and engaging, with many guests being eager to recommend headspace and future events to family and friends.
Through engaging the CaLD community in important discussions, amusing sets and entertaining activities, headspace Armadale’s 2018 Cultural Conversations event was a major success.