Supporting mental health within the Chinese community

Georges River Councillor Nancy Liu.

Georges River Councillor Nancy Liu.

Georges River Councillor Nancy Liu will chair a not-for-profit initiative that aims to reach Sydney's Chinese community to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic.

The Chinese Australian Services Society (CASS) has launched its We Care We Connect program with two live webinars, helping Chinese seniors to navigate resources that will improve access to relevant services and promote positive mental health outcomes.

More than 7,600 people attended the first 90-minute webinar on Friday, 8 October where the discussion covered senior benefits from Centrelink, how to apply for State and Federal health care and general entitlements and COVID-19 emergency services.

The second webinar will be on Thursday, 14 October, with professional psychologist and counsellor to touch on difficult conversations such as cross-generational conflicts and mental wellbeing of seniors.

CASS has been paving the way for migrants for four decades in the Georges River area, helping 3,300 families a week, including those of Chinese, Indonesian, Korean, Vietnamese and other backgrounds.

Since Georges River Council's establishment, CASS has been a key community partner in Council's grant and support program, with in-kind and cash value up to $60,300.

Councillor Nancy Liu said the combined effects of the pandemic and associated restrictions have brought the community significant mental distress, especially when cultural isolation is an additional challenge to overcome.

"Within various mainstream mental health supports, there were only seven in Greater Sydney that offer Chinese language assistance," Cr Liu said.

"People with Chinese ancestry represent almost 30 per cent of the Georges River population.

"There is every reason to believe the urgency and the need for mental health support in the local Chinese community."

Ivan Wong, General Manager of CASS, said that mental disorder and the desire to seek treatment are largely hindered by traditional Chinese perceptions and social norms regarding personal reputation.

"It is difficult to break this taboo, as the widespread stigma against mental illness often leaves people with lack of awareness to seek help," he said.

"The recent lockdown further deteriorates the situation. In response to this community need, CASS has a plan to develop a mental health support program We Care We Connect.

"The aim is to connect Chinese speaking people with broader communities and assist them to care for their own mental wellbeing."

We Care We Connect virtual information webinar

Topic: Parenting within three generations

Aim: Emotional support and relationship balancing when three generations share the same roof during lockdown.

Discussion: 1. What do children need growing up in such environment?

2. What can the grandparents do to help children develop?

3. How to deal with cross-generational gap and conflict?

4. Mental health and wellbeing of seniors.

Language: Mandarin

Date: Thursday 14 October 2021

Time: 7.00pm

Contact: 0459 991 830.

RSVP: via QR code

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