Substance Abuse Treatment Provider Views of ‘Culture’: Implications for Behavioral Health Care in Rural Settings

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Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation

The provision of culturally competent substance abuse and mental health services calls for behavioral health providers to recognize cultural issues and effectively incorporate them into therapeutic settings. This report finds that while efforts to incorporate culture typically focus on the client’s culture, the provision of services is also influenced by provider’s views of culture.

The study analyzes more than 40 interviews with behavioral health providers serving Hispanic and white adolescents in four counties in rural southern New Mexico. It found that culture is considered by many to be an obstacle for substance-abusing youth in seeking help and in treatment. The authors recommend training that helps providers critically consider their biases and ideas about culture. Free. 12 pages. (301) 755-2738,