Cultural Responsiveness

The Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) brought issues of mental health disparities to the forefront and prioritized the improvement of mental health care to underserved ethnic and cultural communities. To address this objective, CalMHSA partnered with the California Institute for Mental Health (CiMH) and implemented phase one of the Cultural Responsiveness Project – a cultural competence assessment of CalMHSA and its program partners to help identify strengths and gaps to further enhance efforts in reducing disparities. Then the project moved into phase two in June 2013 – to provide program partners immediate training and technical assistance to strengthen cultural responsiveness in current and future deliverables and to enhance efforts to reduce disparities for diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural communities. Below please see tools and resources available regarding that project.

Below please see tools and resources available regarding that project which also could be of use to you.

Cultural Responsiveness Overview

Cultural Responsiveness Training Webinars

  • Webinar Series Schedule
  • Understanding Culturally Appropriate Processes for Ensuring Language Access
    • Introduction to culturally appropriate processes for ensuring language access through interpretation and translations of written materials. Subject matter experts will review the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) standards, the Dymally-Alatorre Bilingual Services Act (1973), and the Mental Health Services Act requirements to ensure language access. Topics will also include threshold languages, interpreter training, pilot-testing, and community involvement. Program Partners will be invited to share their strategies for ensuring language access for all PEI activities.
    • Webinar
    • Presentation
  • Culturally Appropriate Adaptation of Evidence-Based Practices
    • Presented by Judith Samuels, Ph.D., from the Nathan Kline Institute’s Center of Excellence in Culturally Competent Mental Health. Dr. Samuels will discuss the Center’s Toolkit for Modifying Evidence-Based Practices to Increase Cultural Competence, which provides a step-by-step methodology for adapting evidence-based practices for racial, ethnic, and cultural communities.
    • Webinar
    • Presentation
    • Additional Materials
      • Toolkit for Modifying Evidence-Based Practices to Increase Cultural Competence
      • Toolkit for Modifying Evidence-Based Practices to Increase Cultural Competence: Checklist and Workbook
  • Racial Impact Assessments: Assessing Implicit Bias to Enhance Cultural Responsiveness of PEI Programs
    • Racial Impact Assessments are increasingly being used as a tool to address bias in decision-making. Several states have passed Racial Impact Assessment legislation (e.g., Iowa, Oregon, Connecticut, etc.) as a mechanism to address unintended consequences of policies and initiatives and to reduce disparate and disproportionate treatment and outcomes for racial and ethnic populations. This webinar will provide an overview of the Racial Impact Assessments as an intervention tool to reduce disparities and disproportionality; describe how RIA’s have been used across the nation and in California; and, engage participants in a discussion about how the RIA tool can be applied to the development of statewide PEI projects to ensure cultural responsiveness.
    • Webinar
    • Presentation


Artwork by: Gary R. Bustin