Reuters reports on Immigrants’ Mental Health by Michael Kahn

This research backs common sense and may be of use for those advocating for people from Culturallyand Linguistically Diverse backgrounds.

Please note there is a growing understanding/acceptance that mental health issues are part of the overall category of “disability” yet many advocacy groups ( excepted ) still shy away from mental health as a human condition worthy of advocacy or interest.

The stigma of mental health problems remains overwhelming – more on this and comments welcome in future posts.

here’s the reuters piece…

By Michael Kahn

LONDON (Reuters) – Immigrants to Britain are more likely to suffer serious mental health problems than the native population, but strong family and community ties may help to protect them, researchers said on Monday.

Previous studies have shown a higher risk of psychoses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder among immigrants facing discrimination and alienation, but the new findings pointed to surprising variations among different ethnic communities.

Social factors rather than genetics may explain the differences, said Jeremy Coid, a researcher at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London who led the study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry .

“Maybe instead of thinking about risk we need to think about what is protective,” Coid said in a telephone interview. “There may be some kind of protection from living in a close community.”

Coid and his colleagues studied 484 immigrants aged 18 to 64 living in three inner-city neighbourhoods of East London, an area that has historically been a first stop for new arrivals. All developed a mental disorder between 1996 and 2000.

The ethnic subgroups included white from countries including Ireland and continental Europe, black Caribbean, black African, Asian from the Indian subcontinent, and all other groups including Chinese, other Asians and those of mixed ethnicity.

The researchers found an overall elevated risk for immigrants and more specifically that some groups seemed less affected by the hardships new arrivals often face.

Immigrants from the Indian sub-continent were only 1.3 times more likely to develop psychosis compared to the native population, suggesting that community ties and family bonds may offer protection against discrimination based on things like skin colour, the researchers said.

White immigrants to Britain were two times more likely to develop psychosis, while black Caribbean new arrivals were four times more likely to suffer in this way.

(Reporting by Michael Kahn; Editing by Maggie Fox and Keith Weir)

ABC australia reports new Committee member for UN Disabilities carried this story that will give some hope for people with disabilities who long to be represented by a peer ( not a peer of the realm! )

For more info on advocacy for disabled people please visit and listen to some great interviews by Zel ISCEL in the “radio archives”   section

The story from ABC is below

Australian professor appointed to UN disabilities committee

Posted 1 hour 2 minutes ago

Map: Sydney 2000
The former Dean of Law at the University of Sydney has been appointed to the United Nations Committee for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Professor Ron McCallum, who is totally blind, says he is humbled to be one of 12 independent experts appointed to the committee, which will consider the progress of countries meeting their obligations in areas including non-discrimination, transport and communications technology.

He says the convention will play a pivotal role in focusing the United Nations on the plight of disabled people.

The Federal Government says Professor McCallum’s election is a major achievement which has come at the first meeting of countries to ratify the Convention.

Australia Interest Rate cut – Horse racing Biggest Day in Oz

The Australian Reserve bank has today cut the official benchmark by 75 basis points

( 3 quarters of 1 per cent )

in an effort to stimulate the flagging housing market and build consumer confidence.

That should be the big news story today, but it’s not. The Melbourne Cup is called the “Race that stops the Nation” and it has.

A big part of our society still has lots of cash and doesn’t mind handing it over to bookmakers, while those on fixed incomes or who’ve missed the effects of the mining boom.

For me, the sense of unreality about the economic crisis is heightened by the almost religious devotion to betting on the Cup… I’m sure Nero was laying a bet while  Rome property and share markets fell apart.

There’s more to say, but I’m off now to watch the race – “go you good thing”

Turning the tables on drug pushers – Conversations Network

This just in from the Conversations Network in the US;

and Stanford’s Centre for Social Innovation

” How Siebel Unsells Meth

Some of the world’s most successful businesses make their billions by gussying up drugs. The Coca-Cola company, for example, first delivered cocaine, and now caffeine, with carbonated sugar water and catchy ads. Starbucks likewise peddles caffeine, albeit with less sugar and higher octane. Philip Morris wraps nicotine in sexy paper straws and manufactured chic. And myriad booze-mongers mix alcohol with flavor and cache.

But Tom Siebel is reverse-engineering the marketing machine to unsell methamphetamine, the world’s fastest-acting addictive agent. Siebel was the founder, chairman, and CEO of software giant Siebel Systems. As founder and chairman of the Meth Project Foundation, he is now dropping the hammer of his business savvy on the global meth epidemic—and with outsized success. Studies show that the Meth Project’s chilling, sometimes grisly ads indeed discourage tweens and teens from trying the drug “Not even once,” per the project’s slogan.

In this Social Innovation Conversation, “Using Marketing Techniques to Fight Meth Abuse,” Siebel talks about the Meth Project’s market research approach and ad campaigns, as well as its lobbying victories. Likewise, an article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, “Unselling Meth,” gives a more detailed analysis of the project’s marketing strategy. Both the podcast and article show how business leaders can throw the weight of their marketing wisdom behind the cause of good.

Thank you for listening.

Alana Conner
Social Innovation Conversations”

The Psychology of this campaign seems similar to Allen Clark’s anti smoking courses – a major reality check and expose of the ad men’s craft used for drug pushers. – tony

Social networking & social justice

You don’t have to be a geek to be inspired by new science.

Recently Australia’s ABC screened “Kevin Bacon Cures Cancer” – an inspiring look at how the urban myth of 6 degrees of separation has evolved into the exciting new field of “Network” science.

The math and human aspects of the story/science are intriguing and promise much for the future, especially in curing diseases like cancer and protecting or enhancing other networks such as the web, power grids and there’s even an application for the US as it tries to penetrate or destroy terrorist organisations.

Don’t worry if you missed the telecast – here’s the link

Speaking of networks, I’m calling for collaberators on a series of projects to produce resources for community and other NGO groups such as  radio and TV Public Service announcements to reduce the stigma of mental illness and raise awareness for a range of humans whose voices are often ignored.

I’m also keen to publish audio & video on a range of medical and mental health conditions especially for people outside big urban areas who often miss out on support and self help programmes in the big city.

Perth people can access excellent help from the NGO connectgroups ( for whom I conduct free media and web workshops ) and they need help developing resources for people outside the urban hub.
visit connectgroups at;

I’m also working with Zel ISCEL and the team at the Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre  ( EDAC ) on some valuable education programmes and her excellent radio programme ” Ethnic Ability. ”

visit and click on the “radio” button for archived programmes.

Finally for now – anyone who works with recording speech may be delighted with a a free programme called “Levelator” which really makes a huge difference to the quality of recorded interviews and monologues.


and for iPhone geeks like me – you can now record broadcast quality aiff files and transfer to your Mac or PC with the iPhone app and syncing app available free at

journalism • news • resources • media • social justice • education • health • activism • mental health • • perth talkback • child protection

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