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Mental Health Developing New Diversity Training
Our Mental Health Division is implementing the Reducing Health Disparities Initiative (RHDI) by improving staff's cultural competence and patients' linguistic access.
The division formed a 19-member workgroup to address disparities issues, educated staff about interpretation services and is designing new diversity training for employees. Diversity training helps staff better serve our consumers and their families, said Mental Health Director Donna Wigand, LCSW.
"We need to understand other people's values and family relationships to be able to provide them with the best care."
Mental Health now has a full-time ethnic services coordinator who will serve as the division's diversity trainer.
Lisa Booker, RN, who has been with Mental Health for eight years, offi cially assumed the new position in July and is putting together a series of quarterly cultural competency and ethnic diversity trainings for staff. Lisa also is involved in incorporating the rhdi into the implementation of the Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63), Donna said.
"As we roll out new programs from Prop. 63, we have to do it in a way that is culturally appropriate for the communities they are going into. We can't do a cookie cutter approach," Donna said.
"Lisa is charged with keeping us on track as we do the program design." Lisa said she sees Prop. 63 as an opportunity for reducing health disparities.
"Prop. 63 gives us a framework to do some innovative things especially regarding diversity issues and cultural competence," Lisa said. "The whole premise of the new law is to do whatever it takes to serve the underserved and the un-served.
The data shows us is that racial/ethnic communities tend to have large gaps in access to services." Mental Health Disparities Workgroup members include: José Martín, Randall Cooper, Anna Lubarov, Carlos Dreiss, David Cassell, Enriqueta Gomez, Juanita Garrison, Kim Walker, Larry Hanover, Lisa Booker, Matthew Luu, Melinda Dendinger, Melvora Jackson, Michaela Mougenkoff, Nicole Valentino, Saraphi Chawengchot, Sherry Bradley, Somchith Phongboupha and Steve Hahn-Smith.
For more information, call Lisa Booker at 925-646-5645.
Content provided by the Reducing Health Disparities Initiative.