Texas: Many Cultures and Languages
The 2010 Census indicates that the nation’s racial and ethnic diversity is changing dramatically and that is reflected in the Texas Census.
Texas is rich in cultures and languages. People from all over the world live in Texas, contributing to the state's diverse communities and history. More than 90 languages are spoken in Texas, according to the Modern Language Association's Language Map Data Center.
This racial, ethnic and linguistic diversity can be a challenge for people seeking culturally relevant and linguistically appropriate services to diagnose and treat mental health conditions. Diversity in the mental health workforce in Texas doesn't come close to mirroring the population's diversity. Language differences can be a huge barrier in providing effective mental health services. Even when language barriers are overcome, subtle nuances such as world view, cultural beliefs, religion, family traditions and cultural norms can sometimes interfere with receiving effective treatment.
The Hogg Foundation is working to increase cultural and linguistic awareness, knowledge and skills among mental health service providers in Texas.
Emphasis on Cultural Diversity
The Hogg Foundation has changed its grantmaking criteria to include cultural diversity. Grant proposals must include a plan for involving traditionally underserved populations as a preference from beginning to end of the grant project. The result has been a greater awareness among respondents of the disparities in mental health services for racial and ethnic minorities in Texas. Grantees also are making a greater effort to reach out to racial and ethnic minorities and include them in the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs, services or activities funded by the grant. The foundation is also interested in geographically underserved communities, including those in rural areas and along the Texas - Mexico border.
Bilingual Scholarships for Mental Health Workforce DiversityThe Hogg Foundation awards bilingual scholarships to graduate social work students to increase the number of Spanish-speaking mental health workers in Texas.
Cultural Adaptation of Evidence-Based Practices
The Hogg Foundation completed a three-year initiative in 2009 to improve mental health services for racial and ethnic minorities in Texas. In 2006, the foundation awarded grants to community mental health providers across Texas to adapt their delivery of evidence-based mental health practices to reflect the cultures of populations served. Grantees reported success with the adaptation of several components of the evidence-based practices implemented and plan to continue to use these culturally congruent strategies and approaches. Based on the grantees’ experiences and successes, culturally adapted services are more likely to yield greater positive outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities.
2006 Conference on Cultural Competency in Mental Health ServicesThe Hogg Foundation hosted a conference and invited experts to discuss ideas for the cultural adaptation of evidence-based practices in mental health services.