Working with Asian Mental Health Clients

Online Resource


You must complete the following courses before accessing this resource:

To access the above courses, you need to check your eligibility and how to register/enrol.

About this resource

This HTML online resource is a guide for working with Asian clients in a mental health context which provides additional information not covered in the courses. 

The aim of the resource is to provide some information on mental health issues as they arise with Asian clients specifically. It is not a stand-alone resource and it is assumed that the viewer has an understanding of the following from the cultural competency courses "Module - 1 Culture & Cultural Competency", "Working with Interpreters", "Working with Asian Mental Health Clients" and "Module 9 - Working in a Mental Health Context with CALD Clients":

The resource discusses the following and provide guidance, tips and cultural appropriate approaches:

  • The common issues and concepts that are involved in cross-cultural assessment
  • Explanatory models of illness
  • What we mean by 'somatization' when working with CALD clients
  • Culture-bound syndromes
  • The DSM-IV R's criteria for Developing a Cultural Formulation for Diagnosis
  • Appropriate screening instruments and assessment tools, and issues related to these when working with CALD clients
  • How to collaborate in intervention and treatment with CALD clients
  • Ethnopharmacology
  • Familiarity with the CALD Assessment Tool

It includes video and audio components to illustrate some of the issues covered. Topics include:

  • Section I Demographics: Asian population and diversity.
  • Section II Assessment: Information about manifestations of psychopathology; cultural issues to be aware of when working with Asian clients in general; culture-specific information for working with Asian families; information for use with the CALD Assessment Tool; assessing Asian older people; assessing Asian children and adolescents (including CALD Assessment Tool for Children) and issues relevant to refugee children and adolescents.
  • Section III Treatment and Interventions: Information on finding a suitable modality for intervention; review of modalities that may be applicable when working with Asians (mind map of modalities); intervention with families; treatment in primary healthcare (for prescribing practitioners) and treatment of children and adolescents.
  • Resources: A table of information about Culture-Specific Syndromes; a table of Culture-Specific Information Related to Assessment and Treatment; CALD Assessment Tool for Children, and a Bibliography and list of References for this resource.


Victoria Camplin-Welch.

Recommended background learning


It is highly recommended that viewers have also completed the following courses:

To access the above courses you need to check your eligibility and how to register/enrol.

Citation information


Researched and written by Victoria Camplin-Welch.

Produced by eCALD® Services, Waitemata District Health Board (2013).

© Waitemata District Health Board (2013).

SomatizationEthnopharmacologyCALD Assessment ToolExplanatory models of illnessAsianmental healthCross-cultural assessmentCALDCultural FormulationCulture-bound syndromes
Asian mental health