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Development of information resources for intercultural work

(Appendix E)

To facilitate cultural consultations, referrals and identification of appropriate clinical and community resources, we developed three database projects: (i) a Community Organisation Resource Database; (ii) an Individual Clinicians, Interpreters, and Culture Brokers Database; (iii) a bibliographic database and library of literature in culture and mental health (963 books, over 3,000 articles). These databases are available in multiple formats: over the Internet, in printed form, and by telephone, fax or e-mail from the CCS.

The Community Organisation Resource Database was based on earlier work by Heather Clarke and collaborators at the Montreal Children's Hospital. We transformed their document into a searchable database format. We developed a questionnaire to update the existing database requesting information about community services being offered including: the cultural populations served, availability of interpreters, and mental health related services. The questionnaire was mailed to 87 organisations in the greater Montreal area and followed up with telephone contact. The updated database is available at the CCS and over the Internet. We also designed a secure software database of clinicians, interpreters, and culture brokers who can participate in cultural consultations. The database is accessible via password in the CCS offices.

The CCS Web Site can be accessed in French or English versions. The site is designed to address specific demands of five user groups: clinicians, consumers, researchers, students, and planners.

The CCS Web Site provides a wide range of information, including: (i) access to the CCS organizational databases; (ii) information on professional training and conferences in intercultural mental health; (iii) bibliographies and references to online texts and technical documents; (iv) patient information handouts, pamphlets and other documents for users in multiple languages; (v) web-based programs providing both real-time and other interactive means of communication such as chatting, bulletin boards, mailing list, for discussion and informal consultation.

Two ongoing projects involve: (i) the development of an international e-mail listserv for discussion of issues on cultural psychiatry which currently has 127 members; and (ii) the creation of web-based computer assisted training in cultural psychiatry for graduate study.