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REACH Alliance Develops a New Cultural Humility Toolkit for Mental Health Service Providers

The Racial Equity, Advocacy, and Community Health (REACH) Alliance group has released a newly developed resource toolkit to help promote cultural humility among mental health service providers. The toolkit can be used by providers across a broad range of disciplines—including psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and social workers. The authors wanted to develop this toolkit after seeing firsthand how often researchers, clinicians, and mental health training programs talked about the need for culturally relevant mental health care, with persistent questions remaining about how to put these principles into practice. The team saw a need for a collection of accessible resources that helped to describe and illustrate actionable ways to discuss cultural identity and to build these topics into service provision.

The toolkit contains a comprehensive set of handouts, videos, recordings, suggested readings, and other tools designed for providers at multiple levels—whether they are just learning about cultural humility or are well-versed in cultural considerations. Resources are designed to introduce cultural humility and foster providers’ sense of awareness about their own cultural background, values, and beliefs. Materials also provide guidance on how to build cultural humility into assessment and treatment, why it’s important to do so, and how to manage hesitation or uncertainty when putting these ideas into practice.

Development of the toolkit was a collaborative effort, with contributors from multiple Rutgers departments, students, and community practitioners. The toolkit was designed to be a resource for mental health service providers who are interested in more effectively engaging with clients from diverse backgrounds—with consideration given to the complex intersections of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, neighborhood or area of residence, and more. The ultimate goal for this toolkit, and cultural humility broadly, is to help mental health providers to collaborate with their clients in building a cultural bridge, allowing for better understanding of clients’ lived experiences and more meaningful help and support.

The Building Bridges: Resources to Center Cultural Humility toolkit is available on the Center of Alcohol and Substance Use Studies website.