Cultural Competence In Mental Health

1188 Words 5 Pages
Introduction As professionals, social workers must adhere to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics. The importance of cultural competency is highlighted in code 1.05 Cultural Competence and Social Diversity which states that social workers should have an understanding of cultural strengths in order to provide culturally sensitive and competent services (National Association of Social Workers [NASW], 2008). According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, individuals of racial minority populations such as African American individuals underuse mental health services in comparison to Caucasian individuals due to factors such as stigmas surrounding mental health, and access barriers (2001). Moreover, mental …show more content…
As a social worker lacking such knowledge, I would not be able to demonstrate cultural competence and sensitivity in the provision of treatment, or conduct an accurate biopsychosocial mental health assessment of my client. In order to educate myself about my client’s culture and heritage, I will assess my own cultural competence, immerse myself in various cultural communities, and read literature about different cultures and heritage. Doing so will increase my sensitivity and knowledge to cultural practices, traditions, and views on mental …show more content…
Perceptions such as maltreatment, distrust, and disrespect toward healthcare providers exist due to historical and recent negative experiences from authorities (Miranda et al, 2003). Moreover, there are high rates of cultural mistrust affiliated with negative attitudes toward mental health professionals and healthcare professionals (Whaley, 2001). In a study about attitudes toward mental illness with 154 African American patients found that there were high levels of cultural mistrust toward Caucasian clinicians and healthcare professionals in African American populations (Whaley, 2001). Furthermore, 72% of its participants reported feeling more comfortable with African American mental health clinicians although 55% of its participants reported believing that Caucasian professionals are more trained (Whaley, 2001). However, approximately only 2 percent of licensed psychologists in the United States are African American (Ronzio, Guagliardo, & Persaud,

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