New Jersey Mental Health Institute, Inc.

Changing Minds,
Advancing Mental Health for Hispanics
A Showcase of Innovative Programs, Policies and
Strategies Addressing Transcultural Mental Health Issues
Presented by:
Henry Acosta, MA, MSW, LSW
Executive Director, National Resource Center for Hispanic Mental Health,
and Deputy Director, New Jersey Mental Health Institute, Inc.
Presented at:
World Federation for Mental Health’s
Transcultural Mental Health in a Changing World:
Building a Global Response
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Listing of Professional Reports Related to Disparities
in Access to and the Provision of Quality Mental Health Care
for Racial and Ethnic Minorities
• U.S. Surgeon General’s first ever report on mental health,
Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General, 1999
• U.S Surgeon General supplemental report, Mental Health:
Culture, Race Ethnicity, 2001
• Institute of Medicine Report, Unequal Treatment: Confronting
Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care, 2002
• President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health,
Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in
America, 2003
Brief Reference of Federal Laws, Standards, and Initiatives
Aimed at Eliminating Disparities in Access to and the
Provision of Quality Health and/or Mental Health Services
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
For more information, please visit
Healthy People 2010
For more information, please visit
Revised National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate
Services (CLAS) in Health Care –
U.S. Office of Minority Health
For more information, please visit
National Network for the Elimination of Disparities in Behavioral Health United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration –
Funding for Doctoral Level Professionals from Underserved Populations –
Health Career Opportunities Program –
Health Resources Services Administration -
Changing Minds,
Advancing Mental Health for Hispanics
Background History and Rationale for Program:
Goal: Create Model Mental Health Program for Hispanics
Initial Changing Minds, Advancing Mental Health for Hispanics
Project Activities:
• Comprehensive Literature Review and Analysis of Hispanic
Mental Health Issues
• Interviews with Mental Health and Hispanic Community-based
Agency Administrators
• Interviews with Mental Health Direct Service Providers
• Focus Groups with Hispanics of Cuban, Dominican, Mexican
and Puerto Rican Background
Changing Minds,
Advancing Mental Health for Hispanics
Additional Activities:
• Community Presentations/Participation at Churches, Schools, Health
Fairs, etc.
• Public Education Awareness Activities
Community Outreach
NAMI Family-to-Family Program
Directory of Multicultural Agencies
Model Mental Health for Hispanics Training Video
Summit on Improving Mental Health Services for Hispanics
Statewide Conferences on Delivering Culturally Competent Mental Health
• State and National Policy Development and Advocacy Efforts
Brief Listing of Accomplishments to Date –
Changing Minds, Advancing Mental Health for Hispanics
Time for Action Policy Report
Mental Health Issues and Platform Report for the National Hispanic-Latino
American Agenda Summit
State of New Jersey Department of Human Services
– Mini-grants - Office of Multicultural Services
– Funding for Bilingual and Bicultural Clinicians
– Regional Cultural Competence Training Centers
– Loan Forgiveness
New Jersey’s Law regarding Mandatory Training in Cultural Competence by
all Licensed Physicians - Pending Amendments
Pending Law in New Jersey concerning Continuing Education Units (CEU’s)
concerning Education on Cultural Competence
Improved Data Collection on Health and Mental Health Workforce
Improved Representation of Racial and Ethnic Minorities on State Licensing
Boards, Commissions, Councils and Advisory Groups
Additional Accomplishments:
The impact of the Changing Minds… program grew to benefit
many states, including, but not limited to, the following examples
of programs and activities:
• delivered technical assistance or training to state leaderships of
• developed a Model Mental Health Program for Hispanics
utilized and/or adopted by provider agencies in MI, CA, KS,
OR, ID, NY PA, NJ...
• conducted mental health, multi-cultural competency training for
administrators and providers in CA, PA, FL, AZ, MN, IL, NY,
NJ, TX...
• conducted multi-media anti-stigma and depression awareness
campaigns in NY, NJ, PA... (posters & brochures made available
• Provided technical assistance to multiple providers and
administrations in CA, TX, NJ NY, PA...
Additional Accomplishments (continued)
Provided culturally competent resources…
• conducted and published comprehensive literature review of Hispanic mental
health issues.
• developed patient education materials, disease fact sheets, etc. for depression,
schizophrenia, anxiety and others.
• created and distributed a state multi-cultural resource directory (electronic
database, web site and hard copy for public and professional usage).
• created and distributed nationwide bilingual newsletter.
• created and distributed mental health cultural competency manual for agency
administrators and direct service providers; facilitated or supported use in
states including New Jersey, California, Texas and Oregon…
Developed best practice programs…
• conducted analysis of access barriers and best practice solutions, creating a
model of best practices for mental health services delivery to Hispanic-Latino
• developed and implemented plans to drive tens of thousands of patients into
• established NJ NAMI Spanish Family-to-Family caregivers program; provide
guidance and technical assistance on how to successfully establish this
program in other states.
• established scholarship funds to increase Hispanic mental health professionals.
Additional Accomplishments (continued)
Delivered effective training…
• conducted training workshops for thousands of clinicians.
• developed training for health agency administrators.
• created and distributed a mental health service delivery training videos.
• hosted a Hispanic mental health summit; presented and trained at
national/international conferences.
• provided technical assistance to support both professionals and
Institutionalized systems for access and eliminating disparities…
• implemented several award winning, multi-million dollar, multi-media,
public education campaigns, which generated more greater than 30
million anti-stigma/anti-discrimination media impressions.
• developed a Hispanic-Latino mental health personnel
attraction/retention plan.
• created multiple public recommendations reports and positions.
• participated and led numerous government boards and task forces.
• trained and advised state executives, agency leadership and private
health care organizations.
Next Steps
National Resource Center for Hispanic Mental Health - The NRCHMH
specifically aims to reduce disparities and to increase treatment quality and
the availability of mental health services for Hispanics throughout the nation
by implementing an array of strategies. They are:
1. Developing culturally competent resources and tools for behavioral
health administrators, direct service providers and other stakeholders.
2. Creating and fostering the development and institutionalization of best
practice programs.
3. Conceptualizing and implementing high-quality trainings on culturally
competent mental health service delivery and on policy development
and advocacy.
4. Supporting the planning, development and implementation of policies
and systems of care at the local, state and national levels.
5. Developing comprehensive and user-friendly resources and tools such
as bilingual website and newsletter for disseminating information in
English and Spanish on an array of mental health topics, research
studies, available resources, and important field related events.
6. Heightening awareness, acceptance and understanding of mental
illness among the nation’s Hispanic population.
Changing Minds,
Advancing Mental Health for Hispanics
A Showcase of Innovative Programs, Policies and
Strategies Addressing Transcultural Mental Health Issues
For further information, please contact:
Henry Acosta, MA, MSW, LSW
Executive Director, National Resource Center for Hispanic Mental Health,
and Deputy Director New Jersey Mental Health Institute, Inc.
(609) 838-5488, ext. 205
[email protected]