Pathways to safety for CALD communities

Pathways for those with a lived experience of suicide behaviours across culturally & linguistically diverse (CALD) communities

Unique differences”

With their being unique differences through multiculturalism, CALD populations have varied experiences of mental health adversities and suicidal ideations. Experiences of stigma, discrimination and trauma are key in underpinning suicide prevention and intervention strategies[i].

Very little is known in relation to suicide and CALD populations, rendering it challenging to provide appropriate prevention services, therefore it is critical to understand risk factors attributed to suicidality across CALD populations[ii].

Identifying themes”

To date, only a handful of suicide prevention programs have been delivered in Australia to prevent and intervene suicidal behaviours. To address this, a systematic review exploring risk factors for suicidality and suicide among CALD populations in Australia was conducted by Bowden and Colleagues, 2020, who identified the following themes:

  • Acculturation difficulties – this is inclusive of resettlement challenges, loss of one’s cultural identity, language barriers, employment, and financial stressors.
  • Stigma – this is flagged as a significant barrier for help-seeking behaviours for suicidality for CALD communities. Stigma and self-stigma are closely associated to cultural norms, family, social pressures and sustaining amicable relationships within their own communities.
  • Social networks and families – both can be both risk and protective factors. It increases family stressors and including family conflict and social isolation (while social support is in fact a key protective factor.

At BPA, we are looking closely at psychosocial risk factors attributed to suicidal behaviours among CALD communities. Through our stakeholder connections, and through consultation, we plan to gain a deeper understanding of best prevention strategies.

“Additional insights”

For additional insights, read the op-ed CALD Suicide Prevention written by Melanie Joosten.


[i] Bowden,M et al. 2020. Suicidality and suicide prevention in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities: A systematic review. International Journal of Mental Health, 49, 4, 293-320

[ii] Ibid

Scroll to Top