Integral Care views cultural competency as a system of knowledge behaviors and policies that meets the needs of diverse populations through specific clinical standards skills service approaches and communication programs that match a consumers culture and increase the quality and appropriateness of health care and outcomes.
As the communities we serve have become increasingly diverse (click here for Travis County demographic information) and Healthcare Reform efforts to reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities emerge, Integral Care is exploring integrated approaches, evidence-based programs and best practices that are effective and meet the needs of its community.
Our workforce is evolving to reflect the diversity of our consumers. By employing associates who understand the health beliefs and practices prevalent in the community, Integral Care can provide better care and treatment programs.
Please check back often to read updates about our efforts, which currently include an organizational assessment to identify gaps and areas for improvement. Integral Care promotes a culture of inclusion and tolerance that respects different aspects of diversity such as gender, ethnicity, language, culture, sexuality and age to name a few.
These efforts are guided by the Board of Trustees and Integral Care's Cultural Competency Committee, consisting of staff representatives from various program areas and levels. Other activities include:
Services and Programs
- In an effort to promote independence and self-sufficiency, Integral Care doubled its peer-to-peer program, training and began focusing online development efforts for support and educational tools, including CrisisChat.org.;
- Increased and formalized local permanent supportive housing efforts through new collaborations, including becoming a founding member of the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition and continued oversight of Austin’s Homeless Management Information System;
- Developing partnerships with organizations such as the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health to pilot unique programs such as the first Graduate Psychology Education Program grant awarded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to address the shortage of bilingual and ethnic minority child psychologists, who can provide mental health services in an integrated community health care settings; and
- Participation in the National Council of Behavioral Health's year-long Addressing Health Disparities Leadership Program
|The Integral Care Cultural Competency Committee.|
Outreach and Events
- Eleven years of hosting the Central Texas African American Family Support Conference and 17 years of supporting the South Texas Family Support Conference, in a joint effort to increase awareness about mental health and developmental disabilities and provide community resources and supports in a culturally relevant environment;
- Twelve years of participating in the Hill Country Ride for AIDS, a fundraising event that has raised more than $4 million dollars for life saving supports made available to thousands of Central Texans living with HIV/AIDS, including the C.A.R.E. program, which provide invaluable community mental health and outpatient substance use treatment to individuals living with HIV/AIDS.
- More than eight years of participation in Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day event—in conjunction with other communities across the nation—to raise awareness about children’s mental health, reduce stigma and celebrates resiliency;
- More than three years collaborating with Ventanilla de Salud during Binational Week, a national effort to promote awareness about physical and mental health within the Latino community;
- More than two years participating in the Mental Health and Wellness Fair at Austin Community College to raise awareness and provide information about community mental health and wellness resources;
- Community wellness programs that include the adoption of tobacco free policies in February that support efforts as part of a larger federal health care movement to end the tobacco epidemic;
- Offering Mental Health First Aid as a public education program to provide information that helps participants identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and chemical dependency disorders; and
- Community-wide suicide prevention efforts through lethality-assessment workshops, school-based prevention efforts and the Mobile Crisis Outreach Team and participation in awareness efforts including the Out of the Darkness Community Walk.
Staff Recruitment and Training
- Annual Employee Training day was devoted to celebrating cultural diversity and supporting continued development of a culturally and lingistically workforce;
- Bi-lingual staff recruitment to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services;
- Posting of RFP announcments in diverse publications.
For more information or to send us your thoughts, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.