Cultural Competencies Project

Given the increasing diversity among consumers of public mental health services and given the documented disparities in both access and quality of care to people of color it is important that mental health systems of care take steps to improve care to communities of color. One important step to address these disparities is to train mental health staff in cultural competence, that is, in the application of cultural knowledge and skills in providing services to these communities.

Our goal is to carry out a one-day (7-8 hours) workshop for clinical staff (case managers, therapists, nurses, psychiatrists, etc.) across the counties. The training is divided into four sections: (a) culture matters, (b) cultural principles, (c) behavioral indicators, and (d) application to cases. In the first segment, clinicians learn that a cultural perspective is necessary in clinical work. They also learn to be cautious in interpreting what might be cultural in the behavior or practice of a given client. In the second section, clinicians learn the 6 cultural principles that underlie the SCL model. In the next segment, the trainer presents the specific behavioral indicators that reflect clinicians' adherence to the cultural competence model.

In the fourth and final section, the trainer presents case material to illustrate the application of the model. Altogether the workshop is an engaging blend of cases, research, art, music, exercises, role-plays, and videos that help articulate a conceptual framework and a clear set of clinical guidelines. This project represents a unique partnership between the public mental health system of four counties of California (Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Kern) and two academic institutions (USC and UCLA) to address ethnic and racial disparities in mental health.

We propose to carry out cultural competence workshops for 2050 clinical staff over a five year period. Our hope is that the consumers will be the greatest benefactors of this initiative in that we expect that the training will lead to improved care to consumers of all cultural backgrounds.

Core Competencies

SCRP is working on the creation of core competencies for para-professionals and professionals in the mental health field. Our goal is to create a set of competencies that each county in the Partnership can use in hiring, interviewing and performance reviews.

In the future we would also look to share the competencies with local colleges and universities to help in the training of our workforce.

SCRP is working on the creation of core competencies for para-professionals and professionals in the mental health field. The project addresses the need for a set of core competencies and associated measurable performance criteria that specify and support the evaluation of the knowledge, skills, and abilities expected of individuals serving mental health consumers.

SCRP has made it a priority to adopt a set of competencies to strengthen the mental health workforce. Consideration was given to focusing this competency effort on different segments of the workforce. The goal is to develop a set of core competencies that are tailored to the unique needs and stakeholder interests in Southern California, with a specific focus on mental health.

The competencies are designed to be used in multiple ways. They can guide education of direct care workers, existing training curricula can be updated, work performance can be evaluated and recruitment selection more focused. Widespread adoption of core competencies is intended to benefit all of SCRP Counties, their employees and the individuals who receive services. Direct care workers will benefit from improved orientation training, and continuing education; develop increased professionalism; experience greater job mobility; and have more opportunities for career advancement within the County Public Mental Health system.

College & University Majors Database

College & University Majors Database. SCRP staff has created an aggregate document detailing the Mental Health programs, certificates and degrees available to students at all of the colleges and universities located within Southern California.

While almost all careers require some college, different careers have different educational demands. You can choose to attend college for months or for many years. The kind of college education you need depends on what kind of work you want to do.

Certificate Programs (9 weeks to 1 year)

Certificate Programs award you a certificate of completion rather than a degree when you finish class requirements. This training is specific and will qualify you for specialized jobs. Most certificate programs are six months to a year.

Associates Degrees (2 years)

Associates Degrees are two-year degrees. You take classes in a specific field of interest as well as general education courses. You can take courses at a Community College that count for an Associate Degree. There are many careers that pay good wages and are in high demand that can be yours with a two year degree.

Bachelors Degrees (4 years)

Bachelor Degrees are four-year degrees. You must complete about two years of general education requirements that include basic subjects like English, History and Math; and an additional two years of classes in your major area of study. A college or university awards a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees.

Masters Degrees (6 years)

A Master’s Degree is an academic degree granted to individuals who have undergone study demonstrating a mastery or high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice. It provides higher qualification for employment and prepares for doctoral studies.

Advanced Degrees (8+)

Earning a doctorate requires successful completion of a regimen of coursework beyond the master’s level. A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder to teach in a specific field. Professional doctorates are awarded in certain fields where most holders of the degree are engaged in a profession, such as law, or medicine.