CEO Message: Mental health post-lockdown and Target Zero project launch

There is a bit of a buzz around Melbourne as we enter summer and have the prospect of soon celebrating the festive season with our families and loved ones.

As we find ourselves moving to a new kind of normal post-lockdown, it is timely to reflect on how people will be dealing with these newfound freedoms. While some people will be craving the social interaction, some may be reluctant, and for some others there may even be a fear and trepidation at meeting with people again.

Mental health and wellbeing has always been an issue in our communities, but having access to support and information to assist us has never been more important as the cycles between lockdowns and eased restrictions over the last two years has seen a rise in mental health issues across Victoria. The question of how the State Government’s mental health reforms will improve the wellbeing of our migrant and refugee communities, and in particular young people, is pertinent at this time. Responding together: Multicultural young people and their mental health is a paper CMY produced in partnership with Orygen that highlights the challenges mental health services currently have in reaching multicultural communities. We have been working with Orygen to look at new and innovative approaches to engage with multicultural young people. It is essential that there are targeted policy and program initiatives to ensure that programs meet the needs of the multicultural community. It requires a rethink and nuanced approach and we call on the State Government to ensure the voices of multicultural communities and those who work with them are part of the conversation and decision making processes around improving mental health services.

In other news, CMY is excited to be a partner with WEstJustice in the launch of the Target Zero, a new and ambitious project to eradicate youth criminalisation and the overrepresentation of First Nations, African, Pasifika children and youth and those living in residential care in justice system in Brimbank, Melton and Wyndham areas. You can find out more about Target Zero here.