This paper describes the development of a pilot secondary consultation program by a state-wide transcultural psychiatry unit, Victorian Transcultural Mental Health (VTMH), in partnership with a rural mental health service, Goulburn Valley Area Mental Health Service (GVAMHS), and the responses of the clinicians who participated.
A series of eight consultations were facilitated by the VTMH in 2010 and attended by a total of 57 GVAMHS clinicians; five sessions were conducted face-to-face and three by videoconference. Facilitators recorded the details of discussions at each session. Participants and facilitators offered feedback that was analysed to improve the quality of cultural responsiveness at GVAMHS.
Participants from a range of disciplines provided consistently positive feedback. The sessions provided an effective forum for discussing cultural formulations and culturally sensitive approaches to working with individuals and their families.
This pilot secondary consultation program provided clinicians in a rural area with a forum in which to reflect on cross-cultural mental health issues. This pilot has informed the development of subsequent VTMH cultural consultation services.