Cultural Competency An important aspect of the delivery of high quality behavioral health services is the acceptance and respect that members of our provider network demonstrate toward individuals served with regard to their cultural values, beliefs and practices. Equally important is the demonstrated ability to apply acquired understanding of cultural values, beliefs and practices to the service setting and the care delivered to consumers. The Access Alliance of Michigan, the managed care division of Bay-Arenac Behavioral Health, is committed to supporting our provider network in the acquisition of appropriate knowledge relating to culturally competent care, and to ensuring the cultural competency of our network of providers. Assuring cultural competency and access to services for individuals with diverse cultural backgrounds and/or limited English proficiency is a national effort, required in our Application for Participation as a Pre-Paid Health Plan and the resulting contract with the Michigan Department of Community Health, as well as the federal Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Far beyond being just a set of contractual requirements, the delivery of culturally competent care is associated with better outcomes for persons with mental illnesses, severe emotional disturbances, substance abuse disorders and developmental disabilities. To assist you in acquiring appropriate knowledge about culturally competent practice, and to provide support for your efforts to document the degree of cultural competence among your staff, we have identified several reference documents for your use. These reference materials are internet based resources that can be accessed by following the links below: United States Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) www.mentalhealth.org This website has many cultural/ethnicity topics. If you want to see the Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health go to “Features” and then the Surgeon General’s Report. The supplement on Culture Race and Ethnicity is available on-line. Hard copies of written materials (the Surgeon General’s Report as well as other informational books, booklets, brochures and posters) can be ordered on line at no charge. www.health.org/features/multicultural This page of the SAMSHA website is dedicated to information on drug and alcohol abuse: culture and prevention issues Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice http://cecp.air.org/cultural DiversityRx www.diversityrx.org National Center for Cultural Competence www.georgetown.edu/research/gucdc/nccc Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development and the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities The Infinite Mind www.theinfinitemind.com This website features PBS radio broadcasts on a variety of topics, many of which are related to Cultural Competence. They can be heard over the Internet or for a small fee; transcripts or recording (both cassette tapes or CD’s) of broadcasts can be ordered. Check out the LCM bookstore at the website for past titles. Unfortunately this program does not air on any local PBS radio stations. In addition, the Bay-Arenac Behavioral Health Staff Development Office offers cultural competence training. If you would like more information, please contact the Staff Development Center at 989-895-2397. If the Access Alliance of Michigan or Bay-Arenac Behavioral Health can be of service to you in the important effort to develop your resources and expertise in this critical area, please contact me at 989-497-1304.
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