Asian Mental Health Recovery Follow-up to the Asian Report



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CONCLUSION


Many of the arguments in this paper are speculative. The purpose was not to identify a concise rendition of recovery from an Asian perspective, but rather to encourage thinking about what an Asian recovery approach could look like. Tse has already done some valuable work in this area and it is hoped that such work continues. It is evident, however, that in order to develop a recovery approach for Asian peoples, such an approach will need to be more than merely culturally sensitive. It must be culturally integrative and take account of the different values, morals and philosophies that drive cultural understandings. Government responses have been a combination of cultural sensitivity and cultural integration.
The results of ongoing and planned research within government agencies will no doubt provide further guidance on how to respond to the needs of Asian peoples, and thus their mental health requirements. This research can be used to refine an Asian recovery approach. Likewise, the work of small community groups such as Yan Oi Sei and Pao Oi Sei could provide some insight; while the work of Waitemata DHB’s Asian Health Office could inform us of a systemic response. Ultimately, community responses and systemic responses should be integrated and seamless. New Zealand is still at the initial stages of addressing and responding to Asian mental health needs. It is to be hoped these will be further refined in the not too distant future.

Appendix A




In Response to the Asian Report: Planning Initiatives and Activities of Relevant Agencies in Government

Asia 2000 Foundation of New Zealand


The Asia 2000 Foundation was established in 1994 as a non-partisan, non-profit organisation. It receives public and private sector funding and focuses on promoting Asia to New Zealanders, encouraging business links between Asia and New Zealand, and cultural promotion and policy work. Significant work for 2002 included:


  • Lantern Festival held in Albert Park, Auckland, with 100,000 people attending

  • Diwali festivals in Wellington and Auckland, with 30-40,000 people at each event

  • an occasional paper on immigration.

Events planned for 2003 include:




  • Lantern Festival

  • the creation of two on-line directories for research in New Zealand on export education and immigration

  • an occasional paper on export education

  • Asia Forum 2003 conference, which aims to ‘unleash the energy of New Zealand’s Asian links’ and focuses on four main areas: trade, investment and tourism; politics and security; society and culture; and innovation and environment. Regional workshops will be held leading up to the conference

  • a survey in conjunction with New Zealand Asian Studies Society on the state of Asian studies in New Zealand tertiary institutions, this will help to advance a national Asian studies strategy

  • Continuation of student and teacher exchanges to Asian countries under the education programme and encourage sustainable links between New Zealand and Asian tertiary institutions

  • Continuation of awards to journalists to travel to Asian countries

  • Continuation of contributions to the strategic direction of the international education industry – participate in strategic meetings and offer comment and information on issues

  • Continuation of cultural grants – for exhibitions, performing arts, community events and festivals and support for Asian content in the New Zealand arts festival.



Customs


The New Zealand Customs Service is charged with protecting the community from potential risks arising from international trade and travel. Customs staff are often the first group of people that migrants encounter when entering New Zealand. Customs are very aware of this and have developed and implemented a national training resource that incorporates an understanding of cultural values and ethnic differences. They also make extensive use of interpreters and translators to facilitate communication with non-English speaking people.

Department of Labour


The Department of Labour has a large number of ongoing projects, publications and planned initiatives that relate to Asian peoples and their mental health concerns. Key projects include (www.immigration.govt.New Zealand/research):


  • The Longitudinal Immigration Survey (LISNEW ZEALAND). This survey aims to provide reliable data about the initial experiences of migrants in New Zealand and the outcomes of immigration policies. This information will be used to improve immigration selection and settlement policy development

  • Refugee Resettlement Research Project: Refugee Voices. This project involves interviews with refugees who came to New Zealand in early 2001 and those who arrived about five years ago. The resettlement experiences of these people will be documented

  • Migrants in New Zealand: An Analysis of Labour Market Outcomes for Working Aged Migrants using 1996 and 2001 Census Data. A comparative study of migrants and locally born people of working age (15-64), the study seeks to identify characteristics that impact on labour market outcomes

  • Boosting the Regions through Immigration pilot. The Southland/Clutha and Wellington regions are to participate in a pilot initiative to boost economic growth through immigration policy.

Key publications include (www.movetoNew Zealand.govt.NewZealand/Bml/away/living/living.htm):




  • New Zealand – The Facts (April 2002). Available in English and Chinese, this booklet provides general information about New Zealand. Migrants are required to read and understand parts of this booklet when signing the Residence Form

  • Let’s make it the right choice. A checklist of important considerations for people who are interested in living or working in New Zealand, this flyer is available in English and Chinese

  • Settlement Kit (2003). This comprehensive guide to living in New Zealand, sent only to approved migrants, covers housing, education, government, health, work, business, migrants, settling in and the Treaty of Waitangi. It is available in English and Chinese

  • Teenage Migrant Guide (July 2002). Available in English, this booklet covers topics such as education, driving and leisure activities.

Additional to these publications and projects are settlement programmes that cover the areas of communications, employment, orientation, housing, advocacy, business, ESOL, community development and general skills such as driving.



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