Let's Talk about Mental Health: A guide to conversation with our family and carers

Let's Talk! is a project that headspace Sunshine's Youth Advocacy Group (YAG) started in recognition of the importance of having open conversations about mental health with family and carers, and the difficulties of doing so when there are generational, cultural and language barriers. Drawing from their own experiences, the YAG hopes that the development of this resource can offer some guidance around navigating the tricky generational and cultural gaps between their Asian peers and their parents/carers to bridge conversations about mental health. The project began with a focus on our Vietnamese community, and we are now branching out to Chinese, Punjabi, and any other language that we find incredible translated resources for.   

In 2020, we created our first Vietnamese wellbeing glossary. In 2021, we received a grant to get our glossary professionally translated into 7 of the most common languages spoken in Brimbank. In 2022, we organised a Let's Talk Forum, where young people were invited to share experiences and discuss the barriers and enablers to safe and meaningful conversations about wellbeing with family. In 2023, we asked parents, carers and young people what kind of resource would help them feel more comfortable having these conversations and what goals they'd like to achieve. Consequently, we codesigned an interactive workshop where we discuss the barriers to these conversations and create space to practice skills to overcome these. In 2024, we hope to facilitate more of these workshops with different groups, so if this is a conversation that you're interested in participating in, let us know at headspaceSunshineCommunity@orygen.org.au! 

Tell us how we can create something helpful for you! 

To contact us directly, feel free to email us on headspaceSunshineCommunity@orygen.org.au

Section 1: Overview of Mental Health

Section 2: Preparing for the conversation 

Section 3: Skills and tips on navigating the conversation

Section 4: Translated headspace factsheets for your family and friends

Helpful translated Vietnamese resources from other organisations:

Other exciting and helpful CALD projects in the community

  • The Vietnamese Community in Australia: Victorian Chapter is carrying out an exciting project from the Federal Government aiming to bridge the intergenerational gap within the Vietnamese Community. This will be done through a series of videos aimed at understanding different perspectives on Vietnamese-Australian dual identity, culture and values between family members of different generations in 4 different families and how that affects their communication and how they live their lives. You can find this playing on their Youtube channel C media-VCA-Vic - subscribe so you don't miss out!
  • Arabic and Swahili Wellbeing project at headspace Wollongong
  • The Centre of Multicultural Youth's Reverb project!
    REVERB is a co-design project with young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds, which aims to address the stigma surrounding mental health. REVERB will amplify young people’s voices, share their lived experiences to encourage young people to seek help and practice positive wellbeing.
  • The Centre of Multicultural Youth's Mental Health Literacy Project (translated infographics on mental health): Vietnamese Community Resources, South Sudanese Community Resources, Arabic speaking Community Resources, Pasifika Community Resources, Karen Community Resources

The project began with a focus on our Vietnamese community, and we are now branching out to Chinese, Punjabi, and any other language that we find incredible translated resources for. If you have a resource or event that is meaningful to this initiative, please reach out! We'd love to support you and our community in bridging important conversations about mental health. Contact: headspaceSunshineCommunity@orygen.org.au  

Do you have a story you want to share? Feedback you'd like to give? Some words of wisdom and tips you'd like to provide? We'd love to hear it!