Cultural competence recognizes the broad scope of the dimensions that influence an individual’s personal identity. These dimensions include:

  • race

  • ethnicity

  • language

  • sexual orientation

  • gender 

  • class/socioeconomic status

  • education

  • religious/spiritual orientation

Members of racial minority groups, including African Americans and Latinos, underuse mental health services and are more likely to delay seeking treatment. Consequently, in most cases, when such individuals seek mental health services they are at an acute stage of illness. This delay can result in a worsening of untreated illness and an increase in involuntary services.



Within the behavioral health system, cultural competence must be a guiding principle, so that services are culturally sensitive and provide culturally appropriate prevention, outreach, assessment and intervention.

- Cultural Competence in Mental Health

    The UPenn Collaborative on Community Integration

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A 501(c)(3) public charity

Hyattsville, MD, USA