Transcultural Mental Health

Subject PSYT90014 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 6.25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

July, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 01-Jul-2016 to 05-Aug-2016
Assessment Period End 26-Aug-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 08-Jul-2016
Census Date 15-Jul-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 05-Aug-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 6 weeks x 3.5-hour seminars
Total Time Commitment:


Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Objectives, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.
It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Justin Kuay


Administrative contact:

Victoria Kingsley

Subject Overview:

Transcultural psychiatry concerns itself with the:

  1. nature of mental illness;
  2. causes and distribution of mental illness in different populations;
  3. culture and clinical practice, including the clinician-patient relationship; and the
  4. design of mental health services in multicultural societies.

Students will examine the role of culture in the development and the treatment of mental illness, and will be provided with a short introduction into the education of mental health professionals, and the construction and operations of health systems. They will integrate cultural with biological, psychological and social considerations in their thinking about clincial practice and briefly consider the design and operations of the mental health service settings in which they work. Students will consider the cultural and linguistic diversity of the Australian community and the implications of such diversity for clinical practice. They will examine the cultural construction of concepts of mental illness and the cultural assumptions and commitments of contemporary psychiatry. Prevalence of mental illness in immigrant, refugee and Aboriginal communities will be explored as will the patterns of mental health service utilisation. Students will develop knowledge and skills i ncultural assessment, cross-cultural diagnosis and treatment.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Describe the cultural diversity of Australian society, and the mental health implications of this diversity
  • Differentiate new ways of thinking about concepts of culture, and concept of psychiatric illness across different cultures, and to apply these concepts in day-to-day clinical work
  • Describe the differing patterns of mental health service utilisation by different ethnic communities in Victoria, and the factors that may be responsible for these different patterns of service use such as the epidemiology of mental illness across cultures
  • Discuss frameworks for thinking about public mental health policy, and service design and evaluation, in relation to people from different cultural backgrounds
  • Demonstrate skills in the integration of cultural competence into psychiatric assessment and diagnosis
  • Demonstrate skills in the integration of cultural competence into psychiatric management.
  • Participation in class discussions, and completion of learning activities and group exercises, during term (20%)
  • Written assignment of 2000 words, due within 3 weeks of teaching period end date (80%)
  • Attendance: 75% of sessions (for face-to-face students) OR 75% completion of online modules (for online students) (Hurdle requirement)
Prescribed Texts:

Minas I H, Transcultural Psychiatry for Clinicians. (Unpublished Course Material)

Minas I H, Lambert T J, Boranga G & Kostov S (1996) Mental Health Services for Immigrants: Transforming Policy into Practice. Canberra, Australian Government Publishing Service.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Related Course(s): Master of Psychiatry

Download PDF version.