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Cultural Competencies

Powerful Essays
Mental health service and cultural competency play an important role in the enhancement of wellness and resilience of clients served. Multicultural competency and diversity continue to impact counselor education, training, theories and interventions. Counseling organizations must reflect cultural competency in many different ways in order to impact a wide range of clients. For this essay, Ms. Katherine Carter was interviewed. She is the director and a licensed Marriage & Family therapist at The Westminster Center. This paper seeks to evaluate the Center’s role in prevention, education, intervention, consultation, and advocacy. Also assessed is whether or not the organization reflects a culturally competent environment with corresponding counseling…show more content…
According to Goldman, Glied, and Alegria (2008), public policy related to mental health has shifted and evolved over time to incorporate employment, welfare, criminal justice, juvenile justice, education and general health policy. A policy that should be of interest to the counseling staff of Westminster Center is the Mental Health in Schools Act of 2013. The Center’s counseling staff should advocate on the behalf of young, school age clients because they provide services to this segment of the population. The original Mental Health in Schools Act has gone through various iterations and has had various sponsors. The latest sponsors are Senators Grace Napolitano, a democrat from California, and Chris Gibson of New York. It is now titled the Mental Health in Schools Act of 2015. This act is one of many acts the American Counseling Association (ACA) considers as high priority. The Mental Health in Schools Act of 2015 was first introduced January 31, 2013 (American Counseling, 2016). This act would increase students’ access to on-site mental health services. This act would establish new grant programs to support education agencies and community based health and social services organizations in their collaborative plans; and, to provide mental health identification training for school employees. Grants would provide $200,000,000 in…show more content…
Culturally competency should also be addressed as part of the counseling staff’s training and development. Sue and Sue (2013) discuss the need for non-deficit models in counseling assessment and intervention plans over the prevalent culturally deficient models that were used and perpetuated false pathologies of marginalized communities and people of color. Social justice principles consider sociopolitical factors that impact a client’s mental health (Sue and Sue, 2013). As I interviewed Ms. Katherine Carter about the Center’s staff, advocacy work and cultural competency, she became very closed to many of the interview questions. It became very evident that the Westminster Center is very low on the cultural competence continuum. According to the director, education to the general public or particular communities, as well as advocacy, are topics not currently focused upon by the counseling staff. In turn, the Center does not require proof of immigrant status and health insurance in order for clients to receive our service. The director also stated that the counseling staff has undergone culturally competent training, and this is evident in one of the counselor’s on-line biographies as it is stated that she has an emphasis in cross-cultural counseling (Westminster, 2016). Del Castillo and Zalenski (2008) discuss the important of transparency,
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