Seeking help about mental health has been associated with a sense of fear and has been seen as ‘intimidating’ in the Vietnamese community. This has led to the construction of several ‘myths’ when it comes to seeking support for mental health concerns.
Linh, David, and Jenny invited Alain and Elvis to have a conversation about breaking down some of the ‘myths’, and supporting Vietnamese young people to avoid making assumptions regarding mental health and support seeking from health experts.
Meet the Vietnamese Community Leadership Group
Linh is doing a Bachelor of Science. Although she loves being able to apply the concepts she learnt at university to understanding the human mind and behaviour, for her, no hobby beats watching dog videos. When thinking about the kind of leadership she likes, Linh looks up to people who genuinely care and want others to grow, someone who motivates, inspires, and lead by example. Her favourite expression in Vietnamese is cố gắng which means “try your best”.
For Linh, there are a lot of myths and stigma associated with poor mental health that prevent people in the Vietnamese community from seeking help. This motivated her to play a part in addressing these concerns to encourage and normalise conversations around mental health. After encountering many challenges and barriers due to the nature of COVID-19, her biggest takeaway from this experience was that persistence leads to success.
David is studying a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Geography/Ecosystem Science. He is passionate about equality and believes in the potential that multicultural young people have when it comes to making positive change through activism and leadership. To take care of his mental wellbeing he takes breaks when working and enjoys going for a walk for fresh air. His favourite word in Vietnamese is ấm cúng, which means “homely”. He uses the word to describe places where he feels comfortable and at ease.
David decided to join MHLP to start the conversation and allow other Vietnamese people to feel empowered to discuss issues related to mental health. His main learning from the MHLP was that the Vietnamese community can be open to talking about mental health, but is it often the environment and prevalence of myths that prevent them from discussing it. Hence, the importance of opening up spaces where people can feel safe to discuss mental health.
Jenny is currently working as a management consultant in the area of business resilience and an active volunteer both in Australia and overseas. Jenny grew up living between two cultures – Australian and Vietnamese – and experienced firsthand some of the barriers in speaking about mental health. She is passionate about addressing mental health by starting conversations with loved ones.
Jenny decided to join the project because she believes it is an important topic many families and cultures do not know how to even begin talking about. She believes her bi-lingual skills in English and Vietnamese would help bridge gaps, especially during these uncertain times.
Mental health infographic in Vietnamese
Statistics, tips and resources about mental health in Vietnamese.