Multicultural Youth Support Service (MYSS) works in culturally appropriate ways to address the mental health needs of recently arrived African Australians.
We understand the pervasive impact of trauma pre & post-migration.
- Counselling (evidence-based individual, family inclusive, trauma-informed practices).
- Mental health education to the African Australian community and generalist services who work with.
- Role modelling and mentoring for the African community.
- Sport activities
- Job Pathways
Western Counselling Paradigm:
The western counselling paradigm relies on a person ‘opening up’ to the counsellor and sharing personal information, often of a sensitive nature with a view to examining the beliefs behind behaviors and exploring possible new solutions that exist within the cultural context. To someone who has not grown up in this paradigm, the notion of divulging sensitive information to a stranger, may be traumatic. Cultural context can be the key to understanding change in new environments.
Traditional Counselling: What is it exactly?
TC relies on acknowledging the structures within a cultural context and drawing on them to assist individuals within the shared community. Belonging and integration are key concepts. TC acknowledges the strengths within the cultural traditions and the unifying role of shared belief systems. These foundations can assist people identify goals and work towards a variety of solutions that may be personal, social, economic, behavioral and existential (spiritual) in nature.
TC is championed by spiritual and community leaders who are respected in the local culture. Mentoring and leading by example can be powerful tools within this model. The outcome of TC always recognises that building stronger social fabric is central to the common good: Expanding social capital is an underlying assumption. Common values within African culture acknowledge the following key areas
The use of alcohol is a right of passage; young people indiscriminately drinking is not part of the cultural norm.
Raising children is the responsibility of the wider community as well as the parents (“It takes a village to raise a child”).
The role of societal elders and spiritual minister is important; these people lead by example