An individual’s mental health is influenced not only by their own characteristics or attributes, but also by external circumstances including socioeconomic status, demographic, and cultural considerations.1 Cultural competence is being respectful and responsive to the health beliefs and practices of diverse population groups at every step of the care, which allows providers to interact effectively with people of different cultures and ensure the needs of all community members are addressed.2 Some alternative approaches that can be taken include using gender, socioeconomic status, or income rather than age group as the primary unit of interest.1
1 World Health Organization. (2012). Risks to mental health: An overview of vulnerabilities and risk factors. Retrieved from WHO.int.
2 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2016). Cultural competence. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/capt/applying-strategic-prevention/cultural-competence.
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Listen in as Drs. Jianping Chen and Francisco Moreno provide their perspectives on how a patient's cultural background can influence factors such as when, how, and if they seek treatment, as well as their expectations and perceptions of the treatment management journey.Listen Now
Mental health conditions depend on many factors, including both demographic factors such as socioeconomic factors and health behaviors as well as ecological environmental factors.
Determinants such as sociocultural and geopolitical environment in which people live interact with each other in a dynamic way, and can work either for or against an individual’s mental health state.
An individual’s gender, ethnic grouping, or place of residence may influence their chances of developing a mental health condition.
An individual’s mental health and well-being is strongly influenced by the immediate social context in which they live, work, and carry out their day-to-day activities.
It is recommended that organizations have policies, procedures, and resources in place to make the ongoing development of cultural competence and inclusion possible.