eCite Digital Repository

Towards a culturally appropriate mental health system: Sudanese-Australians' experiences with trauma


Copping, A and Shakespeare-Finch, J and Paton, D, Towards a culturally appropriate mental health system: Sudanese-Australians' experiences with trauma, Journal of Pacific Rim Psychology, 4, (1) pp. 53-60. ISSN 1834-4909 (2010) [Refereed Article]

Restricted - Request a copy

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2010 Australian Academic Press Pty. Ltd.

Official URL:

DOI: doi:10.1375/prp.4.1.53


Australia is fortunate to welcome approximately 13,000 humanitarian entrants per year, most of whom have experienced protracted violence, hardship and life in refugee camps. The majority of humanitarian migrants were raised in cultural contexts very different to that of Australia, contributing to the increasing diversity of this region. With this diversity comes a responsibility to ensure every Australian receives culturally appropriate mental healthcare. Those who are forced into migration have experienced trauma and the stress of acculturation often compounds this trauma. This study investigated the experience of trauma from the perspectives of Sudanese-Australians. Grounded theory methodology was employed to extract themes from interviews with 15 Sudanese-Australians aged between 19 and 49 years. Results demonstrated four overarching themes: support, religion, strength and new possibilities. The data within these themes are compared and contrasted with previous literature that has examined notions of trauma, distress and growth in western populations. Conclusions drawn from these results highlight the need to build inclusive practices that support diversity into existing trauma services in Australia.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:trauma, posttraumatic growth, refugee mental health, culture, humanitarian
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Social and personality psychology
Research Field:Social psychology
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Other culture and society
Objective Field:Other culture and society not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Copping, A (Ms Alicia Copping)
UTAS Author:Paton, D (Professor Douglas Paton)
ID Code:66255
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:17
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2011-01-11
Last Modified:2015-03-05
Downloads:4 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page