State and National Experts to Speak at Houston Seminar on the Interface of Culture and Science in Mental Health Treatment
November 27, 2006
The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health will host Robert Lee Sutherland Seminar XIV, Transforming Mental Health Services in Texas: Building Bridges Between Cultural Competence and Evidence-Based Practice on November 30 – December 1, 2006. The seminar will be held at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Houston.
Nationwide, policymakers and payers are encouraging, sometimes even requiring, mental health providers to use evidence-based practices (EBPs) in their work with clients. EBPs like cognitive-behavioral therapy are mental health treatments that have been shown to work across multiple research trials. The rationale is that treatments that are successful in carefully designed research studies are more likely to help clients in the "real world" than untested approaches that providers may use. EBPs are equated with quality mental health care.
While no one would argue against the need for quality mental health services, the push for EBPs as the solution is controversial. A critical issue is the cultural relevance of these treatments. The majority of participants in EBP research are white and middle class. Although people of color are rarely well represented in these studies, the assumption is made that a treatment that works well for a white, middle class population will work well for everyone.
Unfortunately, this assumption runs counter to decades of research demonstrating that there are important ethnic and racial differences in how people think about mental illness, seek help, and participate in treatment. There is good reason to believe that one size may not fit all.
Now a "majority-minority" state, Texas must find ways to provide quality mental health services to people of all cultures. Some research studies have shown that EBPs can work for people of color. Particularly compelling is the emerging research demonstrating that EBPs are successful with people of color when their delivery is modified to address clients' cultural differences. Culturally adapting EBPs is the cutting edge of quality mental health care and the focus of this biennium's Robert Lee Sutherland Seminar.
The Hogg Foundation sponsors this seminar to share a wealth of information and diverse perspectives on cultural adaptations and to promote dialogue and progress on this vital issue. The seminar will feature:
An opening plenary session by leading national expert Dr. Stanley Sue, Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Asian American Studies at the University of California, Davis;
Presentations by the Hogg Foundation's Cultural Adaptation Initiative grantees on the development and implementation of their culturally adapted, evidence-based treatment models;
Panels of national and local experts focused on current research, assessment, and treatment issues on cultural competence and evidence-based practices; and
Work sessions in which participants and presenters will examine key issues in culturally adapted evidence-based practices and identify ways to move the field forward.
Approximately 200 clinicians, researchers, policymakers, consumers, and family members from around the state will attend the free seminar. The conference agenda is available to view or download on the Hogg Foundation's website at: www.hogg.utexas.edu. Additional information on cultural adaptation and the Foundation's Cultural Adaptation Initiative can also be found online. Video clips of the presentations and various conference materials will be posted on the Foundation's website following the event.
Biennially, since 1978, the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health has convened the Robert Lee Sutherland Seminars to encourage people to work cooperatively to address timely issues for the improvement of mental health and the quality of life in Texas. The seminars are a living tribute to the first director of the Hogg Foundation, Dr. Robert Lee Sutherland.
The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health is an administrative unit of The University of Texas at Austin. For over 65 years, the Hogg Foundation has accomplished its mandate through grantmaking to mental health services, research, policy, and public education projects in the state of Texas.