Cultural Competence. OPHS’s OMH is mandated to develop the capacity of health care professionals to address the cultural and linguistic barriers to health care delivery and increase access to health care for people with limited English proficiency. The Center for Linguistic and Cultural Competence in Health Care was established in FY 1995 as a vehicle to address the health needs of populations with limited English proficiency.
National Standards on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services. These standards have been developed and are primarily directed at health care organizations; however, individual providers also are encouraged to use the standards to make their practices more culturally and linguistically accessible. The principles and activities of culturally and linguistically appropriate services should be integrated throughout an organization and undertaken in partnership with the communities being served. The standards are organized by three themes: Culturally Competent Care, Language Access Services, and Organizational Supports for Cultural Competence.
Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Prevention and Treatment. SAMHSA supports efforts to identify and articulate key workforce development issues in the mental health and substance use disorders prevention and treatment fields and to encourage the retention and recruitment of an effective compassionate workforce. These efforts include support for programs that train behavioral health professionals to work with underserved minority populations, training for mental health and substance abuse providers, and leadership training programs.
Support to Family Caregivers. The National Family Caregiver Support Program, developed by AoA, calls for all States working in partnership with local area agencies on aging, faith- and community-service providers, and tribes to offer five direct services that best meet the range of family and informal caregivers’ needs: information about available services; assistance in gaining access to supportive services; individual counseling, organization of support groups, and training to assist caregivers in making decisions and solving problems relating to their roles; respite care to enable caregivers to be temporarily relieved from their caregiving responsibilities; and supplemental services, on a limited basis, to complement the care provided.
Direct Support Workforce. To address the emerging “care gap” between the number of long-term care workers and growing demand, providers, policymakers, and consumers are likely to consider a broad range of strategies: improving wages and benefits of direct care workers, tapping new worker pools, strengthening the skills that new workers bring at job entry, and providing more relevant and useful continuing education and training. A key strategy in this mix will be a focus on workforce development—providing workers with the knowledge and skills they need to perform their jobs. In addition, ASPE and its partners in and outside HHS are engaged in a series of research projects aimed at more accurately enumerating the long-term care workforce, describing the types of tasks performed and assessing the impact of workforce development programs.
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