Cultural Competence Standards in Managed Care Mental Health Services for Latino Populations

Abstract

Disclaimer: The set of guidelines that are included in this document are general suggestions made by the panel for consideration by clinicians, who must continue to rely on their own professional judgement and training and the individualized assessment and needs of their patients. There is no representation here that these guidelines are appropriate for any particular patient. The panel that developed these guidelines disclaims all liability and cannot be held responsible for problems that may arise from their use.

A national Latino Behavioral Health Panel comprised of mental health professionals, families and consumers was created to develop cultural competence standards for Latino populations. The work of this panel was sponsored by The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) Mental Health Program and funded by the Center for Mental Health Services of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This panel is one of four racial/ethnic panels to establish cultural competence standards for mental health service providers within a managed care setting.

The ultimate goal of the work of the Latino Panel is to document the best practices, standards, and information relating to mental health services for Hispanics/Latinos so they can be used to ensure equal access to appropriate and quality services within the new climate of costs containment and efficiency.

The "Cultural Competence Standards in Managed Care Mental Health Services for Latinos" document presents a set of five "guiding principles", and two types of standards: overall system standards and clinical standards. Additionally, a list of provider competencies is offered in the areas of training, knowledge, skills, and attitudes which are essential components of continuing education for cultural competence for clinical staff and provider capabilities to effectively respond to the mental health needs of Latinos. Individual standards are followed by a set of implementation guidelines, recommended performance indicators and recommended outcome measures.