Research projects

‘Bridging the Gap’: Enhancing help-seeking for depression, anxiety and substance misuse among young migrants from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds by empowering family members to be facilitators of help-seeking

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Proudly supported by The Movember Foundation.

Principal researcher

Professor Dan Lubman1
Professor Andre Renzaho2
Professor Terrance McCann3


1 Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, Eastern Health and Monash University
2 Monash University
3 Victoria University


$145,000 – This project is funded through donation from the Movember Foundation

Award type

National Priority Driven Research Program

Project completion year


Main messages 

The project fills an important gap in the evidence in terms of barriers and facilitators to help-seeking among young African migrants, their family and communities. The findings of this report can be used by a variety of relevant stakeholders, including recently arrived migrant communities and services, health care providers, and policy makers. 


  • Parents have poor mental health literacy about how to address mental health and alcohol and drug issues in their son or daughter.
  • Parents were often unsure how to approach the issues without creating conflict with their son or daughter.
  • High levels of stigma related to mental health and alcohol and drug problems were commonly reported, which was a significant obstacle to seeking professional help.
  • Differing levels of community connection meant some recently arrived communities lacked the necessary social capital to support young people.

Health care providers

  • There was limited awareness of available mental health and alcohol and drug specific services, particularly among parents.
  • Parental concerns around the cultural competency of health professionals meant this form of support may not be viewed as a viable or preferred option.
  • The financial cost of accessing and receiving professional treatment was identified as a barrier to help-seeking.

Policy makers

  • Migrant communities welcomed the opportunity to come together and talk about health-related issues affecting young people and the difficulties their parents may have around having a conversation with young people about mental health and alcohol and drug problems.
  • The health promotion resource has the potential to normalise difficulties encountered by parents when parenting their son or daughter in a new cultural context and to discuss topics that carry significant stigma.
  • The resource was well received and was considered helpful, relevant and appropriate.


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