ADEC’s Mental Health Self-Help Groups


Action on Disability within Ethnic Communities Inc. (ADEC) is a state-wide organisation that strives to empower people with a disability from non-English speaking backgrounds and their carers to fully participate as members of the Victorian community.


Fostering mental health support networks for clients and their carers defines ADEC’s commitment to spread skills and awareness on mental illnesses and wellbeing, reducing the negative impact associated with this disability in society. ADEC’s Mental Health Self-help Groups meet monthly; they offer culturally appropriate information, education, peer support, and recreation sessions. Members of all ages mutually support each other and receive information about mental health conditions and related services. Group activities are conducted in Chinese, Vietnamese, Turkish, Afghan, and Somali to cater to the array of clients’ linguistic needs. At present, ADEC has 7 mental health self-help groups with an equal number of facilitators who act as a medium between guest speakers and the participants. Thirty people are usually allotted to each group. Speakers deliver talks at information sessions based on topics selected by group members. The topics covered at these sessions range between depression and the state government’s diabetes scheme.




The following people are eligible for ADEC’s Mental Health Support Groups:

  • People who are under the care of a psychiatrist, general medical practitioner or a mental health worker

  • Referred people (or self-referred people)

  • People on a voluntary Community Treatment Order (but not people on an involuntary community treatment order)

  • Referral by family members/significant others




Clients may take the initiative to gain membership to ADEC’s mental health support groups during their intake phase via telephone, email, face to face or in writing. A telephone interpreter service can also be availed by clients if required.




According to Peehu Gupta, ADEC’s Planned Activities Program Coordinator, the mental health self-help groups are “active and engaging”. These networks are specific and transparent in nature. They provide a platform for groups’ to collectively own the sessions, socialise, and acquire vital information. Ms Gupta mentions that the client and carer groups have responded positively to ADEC’s mental health support component.


Future Directives


In an effort to sustain quality mental health care service provision across Victoria, ADEC became a signatory to a coalition being led by Centre for Excellence in Peer Support (CEPS) to implement a nationally recognised training programme for consumer workers and carer workers employed within this sector. Psychiatric Disability Services of Victoria (VICSERV) has developed training materials for this course, enrolment commenced in 2015.  


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Dianne Simboro, ADEC’s Transcultural Mental Health Program Coordinator is zealous about this fruitful partnership with leading mental health specialist organisations. She stresses that this endeavour will “increase the value and credibility of work presently being done in the mental health support industry” and is hopeful that this association will enable ADEC to readily provide a support system for cross referral on behalf of ethnic communities as it would be better equipped to determine the nature of assistance required by clients on entering or departing a care facility.


For more information on ADEC and Mental Health-Self-help group membership, please log on to

175 Plenty Road, Preston, VIC 3072

Ph (03) 9480 1666

Toll Free 1800 626 078

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