A Treatment Improvement Protocol: Improving Cultural Competence

The development of culturally responsive clinical skills is vital to the effectiveness of behavioral health services. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), cultural competence “refers to the ability to honor and respect the beliefs, languages, interpersonal styles, and behaviors of individuals and families receiving services, as well as staff members who are providing such services.

This Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) uses Sue’s (2001) multidimensional model for developing cultural competence. Adapted to address cultural competence across behavioral health settings, this model serves as a framework for targeting three organizational levels of treatment: individual counselor and staff, clinical and programmatic, and organizational and administrative. The chapters target specific racial, ethnic, and cultural considerations along with the core elements of cultural competence highlighted in the model. These core elements include cultural awareness, general cultural knowledge, cultural knowledge of behavioral health, and cultural skill development.

The primary objective of this TIP is to assist readers in understanding the role of culture in the delivery of behavioral health services (both generally and with reference to specific cultural groups). This TIP is organized into six chapters and begins with an introduction to cultural competence.

Population of focus: Behavioral health providers

Links to resource:

Date: 2015

Organization: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration