Health care providers, bereavement anxieties and ethnocentric pedagogy: Towards a sense of otherness

Abe Ata, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne
Glenn J. Morrison, University of Notre Dame Australia


Religious and cultural diversity in Australia have been overlooked by many religious, educational, and health care institutions where practices and attitudes to death and bereavement are concerned. The formation of culturally appropriate treatment plans necessitates a radical turnabout, namely adjusting one's perception and awareness to different cultural and religious values. Likewise the need to develop new investigative instrumentation and culturally diverse health services is not to be underestimated. This editorial reveals the shortcomings of the mental health model of Western cultures such as in Australia where members of the community are no longer homogeneous in their cultural and religious background. In a multicultural society, where the basis of understanding traumas and stress is interconnected with religious and cultural undercurrents, myopic psychiatry and health approaches are rendered ineffective. We offer some suggestions on what needs to be done to better address the needs of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.