Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Being Respectful and Responsive

Cultural competence implies having the capacity to function effectively as an individual, an organization, or a system within the context of the cultural beliefs, behaviors, and needs presented by consumers and their communities.  Cultural competence, at the individual, organizational, and systems levels, involves the following:1

Respect

Being respectful of the health beliefs, practices, and cultural and linguistic needs of diverse people and groups. This includes:1

  • Valuing cultural differences
  • Having an open mind

Responsiveness

Being responsive to the health beliefs, practices and cultural and linguistic needs of diverse people and groups. This includes:

  • Knowing something about the culture of the group that the interventions focus on
  • Customizing prevention and promotion in a way that respects and fits with the culture of the group that selected interventions target
  • Involving people from the targeted cultural group in assessing needs, developing resources, planning and implementing interventions, and evaluating their effectiveness—“Nothing about us without us”

Being respectful and responsive to the health beliefs, practices, and cultural and linguistic needs of diverse population groups can help bring about positive health outcomes.1

 

Source:

  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health. (2005, October 19). What is cultural competency? Retrieved from http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/templates/browse.aspx?lvl=2&lvlID=11