Building Bridges Report Released

The Building Bridges research and policy report centres the voices and lived experiences of migrant and refugee women accessing mental health services to inform Victoria’s mental health reform.

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This report builds evidence of their diverse experiences, and shares recommendations to leverage existing practices of help-seeking to ensure Victoria’s mental health system is equitable, safe, responsive and inclusive.


Building Bridges is an advocacy and research project which enables migrant and refugee people to participate in the mental health reform process through community conversations called ‘Share Circles’ (focus group discussions) and action research. It also connects, collaborates and builds relationships with key service providers and community-based organisations who are working with migrant and refugee people on mental health.

The project aims to collect rich, in-depth data about the complexity of migrant and refugee women’s experiences of mental health and wellbeing, which are shaped by gender inequality, racism, financial insecurity, precarious employment conditions, resettlement experiences, and structural and systemic discrimination. Further, it aims to collect evidence about the effectiveness and appropriateness of the mental health system in supporting migrant and refugee women, and about women’s and community organisations’ priorities and strategies for strengthening prevention and response.

Evidence generated through focus groups with migrant and refugee women and consultations with key stakeholders and community-based organisations is synthesised and disseminated in ways that strengthens current and future efforts to reform the mental health system. This project helps to understand how intersectional, targeted prevention and effective community-based programs for migrant and refugee women should look like.