The mental health of young people from a migrant background
DGP PhD student Kelvin Lau presents his research findings at the 2017 National Youth Health Conference in Sydney
DGP PhD student Kelvin Lau delivered an oral presentation on the findings of his research project, titled “BrainSnap: exploring the mental health of young people from a migrant background using photo-interviewing”, at the 2017 National Youth Health Conference in Sydney in July. The goal of this qualitative study was to gain insights into how young people between 18-25 years of age from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) migrant background understood and responded to their personal experiences of mental distress and disorder. A visual method combining participant-created photographs and interview dialogues provided participants with the opportunity to express narratives of distress on their own terms. These subjective accounts provided insights into the factors influencing their engagement with formal mental health support services. They revealed the role of cultural legacy, cultural differences, identity, and the disruption of social connections in their explanations of distress experiences, as well as the significance of self-action and informal supports in their response to mental distress.
Kelvin’s presentation was well-received by the audience, with one of the conference’s Youth & Adolescent peer representatives expressing a resonance between the project’s presented findings with his own personal experiences during the closing plenary session.
This PhD project is supervised by Dr Victoria Palmer and Associate Professor John Furler.