How do we ensure that individuals receive high-quality, evidence-based mental health care in a way that fosters a sense of belonging, acknowledges cultural diversity, and considers the intersecting social identities that comprise an individual’s whole identity? Increasing the diversity among worldwide mental health providers may be the answer long-term, but we’ve found that making culturally centered care a standard practice for all of our Modern Health providers is the best way to improve mental health outcomes for diverse populations now.
Culturally centered care integrates the culture and language of all involved in service delivery, including our organization, our customer’s organization, the employee, their care provider, and all associated environments. Culturally centered care is described by four guiding concepts: awareness of culture, knowledge concerning cultural aspects of an individual, group, couple, family, community, or organizational experience, understanding of the difference between culture and pathology, and ability to integrate these concepts into service delivery.
The primary aims of culturally centered care are to reduce mental health disparities and promote equity in care among diverse populations. One method to achieving culturally centered care is ensuring that all providers are trained in evidence-based practices in cultural humility. Cultural humility is defined by one set of researchers as “the ability to maintain an interpersonal stance that is other-oriented (or open to the other) in relation to aspects of cultural identity that are most important to the client.”
Providers who possess cultural humility are aware of their limitations when trying to understand a client’s cultural background, understand there are a multitude of valid worldviews, and do not assume any superiority in their cultural worldview. Incorporating the concept of cultural humility into standard practice requires providers to regularly engage in self-reflection and self-examination to overcome bias, stereotypes, and assumptions about other ethnicities.
Modern Health believes that a sense of belonging is crucial to well-being. By training our providers in cultural humility practices and building a diverse provider workforce, we are delivering quick access to personalized, culturally centered care across the globe.