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The growth in diversity of the nation, the persistent mental health disparities faced by diverse communities and the awareness of the role of culture in effective mental health service delivery indicate the need for strategic planning to advance cultural and linguistic competence in state, territorial and tribal mental health systems. As mental health systems engage in transformation efforts, there is greater potential for these issues to be successfully addressed if these systems commit to intentional efforts to do so.
Some states, territories and tribal mental health organizations have established dedicated offices or personnel to promote and advance appropriate service delivery for the multicultural populations of that state, territory or tribe. These persons are faced with tremendous responsibilities, but often find themselves without the collegial support that would maximize their effectiveness. The Cultural and Linguistic Competence Coordinators’ Network for State, Territorial and Tribal Mental Health Services (CLC Coordinators’ Network) serves as a community of practice for persons in these roles to address this growing need for information sharing and support.
The CLC Coordinators' Network was created in 2008 and meets regularly by conference call and/or Webinar to address topics of interest to its membership. Topics from previous meetings include the following:
Latino Behavioral Health Workforce Development
Henry Acosta, MA, MSW, LSW, Executive Director, National Resource Center for Hispanic Mental Health
Membership of the network includes managers of cultural and linguistic competence, multicultural services and other key personnel who are addressing racial and ethnic disparities in state, territorial or tribal mental health systems. This includes persons who have similar function for mental health services for children and youth if the responsibility for mental health services for children and youth is not located within the state mental heath authority. The specific job titles vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but the network is open to those for who share similar tasks and functions.
The CLC Network is to enhance the capacity of persons who function in the role of cultural and linguistic competence coordinator in their mental health system through provision of information and resources, linkage to national and federal cultural and linguistic competence activities and resources, serving as a sounding board for solution finding, and expanding their network of allies and partners to promote system transformation.
The CLC Coordinators' Network is collaboratively organized by the NAMI Multicultural Action Center, staffed by Majose Carrasco with support from Marin Swesey and the National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health and the National Center for Cultural Competence at Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development, staffed by Vivian H. Jackson.