After several years of background research and a successful pilot program, the eCentreClinic is opening its Arabic wellbeing course to international participants online, with the next course starting on 9 June 2014.
“The Arabic speaking population is one of the most displaced communities in the world, and unfortunately many of the diaspora do not seek help for their psychological difficulties,” says lead researcher and developer, PhD candidate Rony Kayrouz.
The course has been developed from the eCentreClinic’s wellbeing course, now completed by over 3,000 Australian adults. This first cultural-specific iteration draws on the findings of research from 2012, which showed that Arab Australians had high rates of psychological distress, but were less likely than the general Australian population to seek help from mental health professionals.
“The traditional support routes of family and community may have been strained or severed because of the displacement. Providing a psychological resource that is private, anonymous and practical can help people better manage their difficulties, improve their confidence and get back to living a full and satisfying life,” Kayrouz says.
Working closely with key stakeholders in the Arabic-speaking community, the eCentreClinic team conducted a small pilot treatment study in 2013, to see if internet-delivered treatment would be helpful in teaching skills to manage symptoms of stress, worry and low mood.
“Feedback from our pilot study was very positive,” says Kayrouz. “Participants had significant improvements in mood and reduced levels of stress and worry, with gains maintained until at least 3 months after treatment.”
The Arabic wellbeing course is delivered over eight weeks and involves:
- Five online lessons that provide information and teach practical skills for managing symptoms
- Do It Yourself (DIY) guides to help practice those skills
- Additional resources and case stories from others
With a commitment of approximately four hours a week, the course aims to provide the information and skills that would normally be received from a clinical psychologist.
The course and associated research is part of a broader project of introducing a trans-cultural global internet-delivered treatment program, to be translated into further languages including Arabic, Chinese, and African dialects.
Find out more about the Arabic wellbeing course.