Cultural Competency for Behavioral Health Professionals

Duration: 6 weeks
Total Hours: 9
Day: Wednesday
Dates: 3/4/20-4/8/20
Time: 6pm-7:30pm
Location: MVRHS
Cost: $129

Why: All behavioral organizations are mandated to provide training to reduce disparities in health care services. In 2013 the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health developed the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in public health and healthcare organizations. This six- week course will meet the CLAS standards and offer peer learning exercises that address specific barriers and or opportunities specific to minority health on Martha’s Vineyard. Certificates of completion will be provided.

Course Outcome: After completing this continuing education activity, participants will be able to:

  • Describe how culture, cultural identity, and intersectionality are related to behavioral health and behavioral health care. 
  • Describe the principles of cultural competency and cultural humility. 
  • Discuss how our bias, power, and privilege can affect the therapeutic relationship.
  • Discuss ways to learn more about a client’s cultural identity.
  • Describe how stereotypes and microaggressions can affect the therapeutic relationship.
  • Explain how culture and stigma can influence help-seeking behaviors.
  • Describe how communication styles can differ across cultures.
  • Identify strategies to reduce bias during assessment and diagnosis. 
  • Explain how to elicit a client’s explanatory model

Goal/Statement of Need

Cultural and linguistic competency is recognized as an important strategy for improving the quality of care provided to clients from diverse backgrounds. This program is designed to equip behavioral health professionals with the cultural and linguistic competencies to better respect and respond to each client’s unique needs. 

Who should take this course?

  • Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors
  • Nurses
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • School counselors
  • Other direct service providers for behavioral health

How to obtain credit:

Upon registration for the course with ACE MV, learners will receive instruction on obtaining credit, including registration, pre and post-test completions, etc. 

Six Classes:

5 hours of study Think Cultural Heath Curriculum designed by the Department of Health and Human Service Minority Health Division. This curriculum meets National CLAS Standards. For more information click:

1 hour of study on how to implement culturally and linguistically appropriate services in public health settings. This is set by The Massachusetts Office of Health Equity including a manual to help organizations with implementing the National CLAS Standards. For more information click:

Group Learning Facilitator: April Knight M.A., LMHC, PhD Candidate

April S. Knight, M.A., LMHC is the founder of the Global Altruism Project (GAP), a research and action-based project that seeks to bridge moral understanding and moral action. Inspired by twenty years of experience helping children and adult’s reason through life’s moral dilemmas. April began her project through her doctoral studies in International Psychology with a concentration in organizational systems at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, where she is currently a PhD candidate. She has received various honors by her community and educational affiliates for her leadership and innovative approaches. These honors include the Vineyard Vision Fellowship Award, a Cultural Council Award for Publishing Writing, Clark University’s Outstanding Secondary Educator Award, a nomination to the Bouchet Honors Society for her academic success, and more recently an award as a Global Scholar for her significant contribution to understanding global health. She currently has a private clinical practice in Vineyard Haven and offers consulting services to organizations who aim to improve organizational systems, cultural fluency, or social emotional learning in their daily practice.