Cultural and linguistic competence refers to the importance of culture and language as part of service development and delivery. Culture is an inclusive term. Everyone has an unique culture which encompasses their socio-emotional makeup. Cultural Competence encourages professionals and staff to be culturally aware and respond in culturally appropriate ways when working with diverse populations. It incorporates a rich knowledge of diversity, culture, and language in our interactions with others. How we communicate, written and oral, is essential in receiving the right services at the right time clinically.
Not only should service delivery be responsive, it should be respectful of the culture of the consumer and his or her family member.
Cardinal Innovations strives to embrace this philosophy as a critical piece of the design of our clinical process. Culture is considered throughout the entire process beginning with the initial contact with a consumer or family member, through the assessment phase, treatment, and discharge. Mental health, substance use disorders, and intellectual disabilities have many connotations in various cultures. Often, stigma and disparities exist within marginal communities. This affects help-seeking behavior.
Our clinical process is designed to provide equal access to services for diverse communities. This is impacted on the service development and delivery levels. Developing a skillset to design and deliver culturally and linguistically competent care benefits the consumer and their family. Understanding how culture and language affect treatment modalities and best practices sets the environment for better cultural understandings and consumer outcomes.
In 2013, The Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, released a revised version of the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Healthcare. This blueprint provides a foundation for implementing cultural and linguistic competence throughout a program, system, or organization. Cardinal Innovations embraces this standard and strives to work toward consistent adaptation and implementation throughout our organization and our provider network.
As demographic shifts continue to occur over the next 30 years, integrating cultural and linguistic competence into the clinical design of our organization becomes not just a philosophy to embrace, it because an essential part of the business design for the development and delivery of mental health, intellectual disabilities, and substance use disorder services.
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