A free cultural competency guidebook and assessment tool for peer-led mental health programs and self-help groups is now available. The tool is designed to support groups in identifying both the ways in which they are already responding to culturally diverse peers and areas for improvement. The resources also enable groups to create action plans to enhance cultural competency in five areas: administration, policies and guidelines; peer providers and group leaders; services and supports; program and group environment; and communication and language capacity. The guidebook and assessment tool are also designed to apply to traditional mental health and rehabilitation programs.
The cultural competency resources were developed by the University of Illinois at Chicago National Research and Training Centre on Psychiatric Disability in collaboration with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Support Technical Assistance and Resource Centre. Development of the tool included a comprehensive review of existing tools; a web-based survey of peer-run programs; focus groups and interviews with individuals of diverse backgrounds who attend or staff peer-run mental health organizations; and formation of an external expert review team.
The guidebook “Cultural Competency in Mental Health Peer-Run Programs” and “Self-Help Groups: A Tool to Assess and Enhance Your Services” are available at www.cmhsrp.uic.edu.