Problem Management Plus (PM+)
What is PM+?
PM+ is a program designed by the World Health Organization (WHO) for individuals 18+ from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. It is run all over the world and in Greater Brisbane it is delivered by Culture in Mind.
PM+ is a brief and free low-intensity psychological intervention that takes place once a week for 5 weeks. There is also a pre- and post-assessment by a mental health practitioner. It’s called ‘problem management’ because the program uses problem solving counselling or problem solving therapy and includes other behavioural strategies too. The program aims to address both psychological problems such as stress, fear, feelings of helplessness, loneliness, and where possible, practical problems such as financial stress, family conflict, visa concerns, and health issues.
Our program uses cultural support workers (individuals who may come from the same country/ethnic group as the participant) who are also trained in the WHO PM+ program. The trained workers support the peer worker to engage in a culturally appropriate manner. We provide outreach to clients on Brisbane North and use accredited interpreters where appropriate. Of course, our participants may choose not to engage with language supports and we can conduct our service in English.
PM+ aims to reduce problems that clients identify as being of concern to them. Given that it’s a short intervention it won’t deal with the full range of difficulties but will allow the participant to pick up to three concerns and, with the support and guidance of the trained peer support worker, to learn and identify strategies to solve and manage the issues. This will equip the participant with new tools and techniques to use if ever a new problem was to arise in the future after PM+ involvement, such as learning deep breathing for relaxation.
An Example of PM+
One of our participants connected with Culture in Mind and did the pre-assessment. This determined that it was appropriate for him to engage in the PM+ model. This client identified three concerns that were stressful for him:
- grief and loss of family members due to the war
- loneliness – he had no family or friends in Brisbane
- lack of concentration and memory
After five interventions in the PM+ program and learning how to manage stress around his concerns he provided the following testimonial:
“I’m from Iraq and I have been here for over 6 years. I would like to thank very much Culture in Mind and this program PM+ and the people who helped me to overcome my issue and become the way I am now, I have better health and happiness. I feel much better emotionally and psychologically 80% of my feeling now is feeling I’m not alone anymore. I know how I have family and people who are caring for me.
This program PM+ helped me a lot and changed my life. I learnt many things I didn’t know before such as breathing exercise and walking every day. My physical health has even become better; I started to eat good and healthy food. I started to sleep better, I used to forget a lot and I used to hate my history. Now I don’t mind remembering things from childhood which makes me happy, my memory becomes better and I remember things that I used to forget like where I put my keys or if I have an important appointment.
I can’t thank enough the people who helped me in this program PM+. I have a new friend now and I have reconnected with my old friends, family and relatives overseas. I used to hate everyone but now I want to live happy and healthy with someone who I do love and share life with so I started to look for a woman. I have very good feeling now. I tell everyone that I know about Culture in Mind and PM+ to go to them for help. This PM+ is good helpful and free.
If you are interested in taking part in the PM+ program, please get in touch with us at Culture In Mind.