The following guidance has been developed in partnership with Mental Health Reform (MHR) to guide mental health staff interactions with members of an ethnic minority group using mental health services.
The guidelines have been structured around a set of themes. Under each of the themes the relevant standards drawn from the MHC’s Quality Framework for mental health services are included, followed by specific guidance appropriate to developing culturally competent mental health services.
Theme 1: Respect for diverse beliefs and values
Mental health services and staff should respect the diverse beliefs and values of people from ethnic minority communities and deliver care and treatment in a manner that takes account of such beliefs. Respectful, empathetic relationships are required between people using the mental health services and those providing them.
Theme 2: Communication and language supports
Mental health services and staff should identify the communication and language assistance needs of people from ethnic minority communities, provide information in ways that are accessible, and provide appropriate interpretation services, where necessary.
Theme 3: Access to mental health services
Mental health services should improve accessibility to their services for people from ethnic minority communities.
Theme 4: Family/advocate involvement and support
Mental health services should provide opportunities for family/advocate involvement and support for individuals from ethnic minority communities.
Theme 5: Mental health staff training
Mental health staff should be appropriately aware, skilled, experienced and knowledgeable to meet the care needs of people from ethnic minority communities.
Theme 6: Evaluation and review
Mental health services should undergo systematic evaluation and review to ensure that the mental health needs of people from ethnic minority groups are being adequately met.