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PsychU Spotlight

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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