Cultural Equalities for Teachers and Front Line Staff

Training Programme Topics

1. Existential Beliefs and Spirituality

We explore the meanings of ‘spirituality’ and their relevance for front line staff; discussion on existential beliefs, religion and spirituality for societal health and well being; relevance for migrant and refugee populations. Communication strategies.

2. Mental health

Cultural explanatory models for mental distress. Religious health seeking strategies. Case studies to illustrate beliefs that inhibit access to statutory services. Relevance for migrant and refugee populations. Communication strategies between staff & clients.

3. Women and Well Being

Women’s topics like: modesty, honour and shame; FGM (female genital mutilation); differences between forced and arranged marriages; influences on women’s health and mental wellbeing. Communication strategies between staff and clients.

4. Conception and Birth

Cross cultural explanatory models for conception, and birth. Cultural beliefs about what influences fertility, conception and pregnancy, and what inhibits it. Communication strategies to empathise with clients whilst maintaining own beliefs.

5. The Body

Cross cultural knowledge and beliefs about the body, its properties and faculties. Popular lay and medical models of understanding about identity and the self. Communication strategies regarding multiple theories of illness causation.

6. Death and dying

Concepts of good and bad death; sudden death and suicide; cultural rituals on death and their relevance for medical and health care practice. Communication strategies between staff and patients at difficult times.

7. Beyond Death

Beliefs about what happens to consciousness after death, and its relevance for the living. Explanatory models for survival beyond the body, and their relevance to mental well being. Beliefs around survival and bereavement.

8. Religious experience and consciousness

Cultural explanatory models for conditions, which may attract psychiatric attention. Bereavement, apparitions, altered states of consciousness. Differences in beliefs between 1st, 2nd, 3rd generations; relevance of seminars for front line practice.

9. Confidence for Life

Sessions taught by Margaret Carruthers and Gary Butcher. The course builds on insights around employment, self esteem and confidence. It gives appropriate support to those with mental health disabilities, and offers strategies to deal with daily life concerns. It covers ways of addressing self esteem, bullying, and saying ‘no’, in order to help participants get back into work with sustained attendance. It offers the possibility of improved quality of life, getting people to be aware of and change negative belief systems.

10. Cultural Capability Training

This session is offered by Hema Hirani. Participants explore how culture is defined, and ways it influences beliefs, values and behaviour. Discussion on working with cultural differences when diagnosing and treating patients.

11. Stigma and Discrimination in Mental Health

Session is offered by Amarinder Vadera. Participants define stigma and how discrimination affects service users. Discussion exploring cultural differences, and strategies to challenge and change public attitudes; using real life testimony.