New resource encourages culturally-appropriate care for expectant and new mums

14 June 2013

beyondblue has produced a new information guide to assist health professionals working with women from CALD backgrounds in the perinatal period – from the time of conception to a year or so after the birth of a baby. 

The resource, Perinatal mental health of women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds: A guide for primary care health professionals, will assist health professionals to provide culturally-appropriate and safe perinatal emotional and mental health care for women of immigrant or refugee backgrounds and their families.

Australia has a culturally and linguistically diverse population with approximately 27 per cent of the estimated resident population born overseas. In the coming years, Australia’s population will remain strongly multicultural, multi-faith and multilingual.

Women from CALD backgrounds are particularly vulnerable to developing emotional distress or mental health disorders in the perinatal period and often they do not receive the care they need.

This resource offers health professionals an insight into the additional issues that newly-arrived women and their families commonly face and guidance on how to respond.

It shows how to consider cultural, social and religious values, beliefs and preferences, integrate these into practice and apply them to provide women and their families with a quality service.

This resource was funded by the Federal Government and developed in collaboration with Mental Health in Multicultural Australia, and a multicultural reference group. The group included representatives from community organisations, maternity and primary health professionals, perinatal psychiatrists and women and family members of immigrant and refugee backgrounds who had experienced mental health problems during pregnancy and in the year following the birth of the baby.

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