All across our nation, thousands of Americans have taken to the streets in all 50 states to protest the killing of George Floyd by a police officer. It was a collective cry of anguish and a demand for change to what has become commonplace – the killing of unarmed black people at the hands of law enforcement.
Americans of color, and all of those whose lives have been marginalized by those in power, experience life differently from those whose lives have not been devalued. They experience overt racism and bigotry far too often. And due to these factors they shoulder a mental health burden that is deeper than what others face.
The 2001 landmark Surgeon General’s report, Mental Health: Culture, Race, and Ethnicity, underscored significant disparities in initiation of and engagement in mental health care among persons from racial-ethnic groups. Now, almost 20 years later, these disparities persist, with higher rates of morbidity from decreased engagement in high-quality care, including use of evidence-based medications and mental health therapies.
Discrimination in its multiple forms (e.g., discrimination based on color or race), is an important social determinant of mental health.Chronic stress leads to a cascade of behavioral and physiological responses that have detrimental effects on mental health and brain health. Black Americans and people of color are chronically exposed to race-related stress in the form of subtle and overt forms of racial discrimination,
The counseling profession has moved to become more culturally competent to meet the needs of varying populations. However, this perspective is limited in tackling full issues related to power, privilege, and race within treatment.
The AMHCA Summit on “integrating Cultural Competency Skills into Your Practice” will provide several presentations on better understanding the origins and dynamics of cultural diversity, and how to address several problems through cultural humility, cultural opportunities, and cultural comfort into your daily practice. You will learn hands-on strategies for increasing multi-cultural competencies in your work with clients and improving your overall counseling effectiveness. Attendees can earn up to 10.0 CEs total (or 5.0 per day).