Great News for the Mental Health and Addiction Workforce

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa

We are delighted to announce the launch of a new "Cultural Competency Training Programme for the Mental Health and Addiction Workforce Working with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Asian and Refugee Communities". This programme is funded by the Te Whatu Ora Mental Health and Addiction Workforce Commissioning Directorate from their Access and Choice Mental Health and Addictions Workforce Development Budget 19.

Why the need for the training programme?

Diverse Asian communities and refugee communities with origins from Asia, Middle Eastern, Latin American, African (MELAA) and European countries bring different experiences and healthcare expectations based on their countries' healthcare systems. They have different cultural values, beliefs, practices, communication styles, expressions of distress, explanations of illness and illness outcome, and English-speaking abilities. Additionally, they face barriers to access and inequities in health care provision in New Zealand compared to other groups in our society.

Cultural competence is pivotal for addressing inequities and culturally safe care, as culture and language may influence:

  • how illness and its causes are perceived by both the client and the practitioner
  • the behaviours of CALD clients who are seeking healthcare and their attitudes towards the practitioner
  • client/family engagement and acceptance of the health services offered.

About the programme

The training programme will ensure the training in cultural competencies will equip the mental health and addiction workforce to meet the diverse and unique needs of the Asian and refugee communities who are accessing mental health and addiction services and support.

Today’s launch includes two new prerequisite modules and six existing eCALD® modules. We aim to add two more new essential modules by the end of March 2023. The programme will also promote a series of webinars providing culture-specific and cross-cultural approaches and knowledge to enhance working with Asian and refugee communities in the New Year.

Participants completing the programme will develop new skills and knowledge to work with Asian and Refugee communities in a mental health and addiction context. They will understand what cultural competency entails and know how to ensure services are culturally safe, inclusive, equitable, person-centred and responsive.

We offer online and remote F2F virtual courses for clinical and non-clinical mental health and addiction workforce working in hospitals, specialists, primary care and NGO services working in Aotearoa New Zealand. All remote F2F courses will be available from March 2023.

Find out more about the programme

Please feel free to disseminate this launch news to any of your colleagues who would benefit from this training programme.

The eCALD team wishes you and your whanau peace, health, happiness, and prosperity for the Holiday Season and the coming New Year.

Ngâ mihi maioha
Sue Lim
eCALD® National Programme Director
Institute for Innovation and Improvement (i3) Division
Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand

Great News for the Mental Health and Addiction Workforce