Cultural Competency

The treatment needs of one cultural/age/gender group may be different than those of another. Trauma services must be specific and sensitive if they are to be of value to the recipient.

Facts and Discussion Points:

* In the state of Connecticut, only 1% of women in substance abuse treatment are in gender-specific residential or intensive outpatient programs. There are very few gender-specific programs for women in mental health treatment.1

* The number of children whose lives have been disrupted by war, oppression, terror, and other forms of conflict has grown from 1.5 million refugees and displaced persons following WWII, to 14 million refugees and displaced persons by 2001. Many of these young people experience long-term physical and emotional health problems, including PTSD.2

* The use of traumatizing, restrictive measures is used disproportionately in minority populations.3 Research is needed in this area.


* Leadership is needed at the federal level to bring the message to states about the importance of delivering culturally competent services to better meet the needs of all persons requiring such services.


Cultural Competency References

1. J. Ford (personal communication, April, 2002).

2. Berman, H. (July/August 2001). Children and war: Current understandings and future directions. Public Health Nursing, Vol.18, Issue 4.

3. Brooks, K., Mulaik, J., Gilead, M. & Daniels, B. (1994). Patient overcrowding in psychiatric hospital units: Effects on seclusion and restraint. Administrative Policy in Mental Health, 22, 133-144.