Why Is Cultural Competency Necessary In Mental Health Counseling? 

Cultural competency is the result of our willingness and efforts to promote equality of opportunity, foster mutual understanding among people, respect and be receptive to diverse cultural viewpoints, and improve cultural security.

Building relationships is a crucial component of cultural competence and is predicated on mutual understanding of one another’s attitudes and expectations. From there, knowledge is built using a variety of community resources to expand on understanding.

Increasing Cultural Competency in Mental Health Care Settings

Cultural competence in healthcare

Cultural competence in healthcare

Success in achieving desired health results depends strongly on cultural competency.

Care that recognizes and is sensitive to cultural influences and variances may enhance the experience and results for all parties involved – people, communities, healthcare workers, insurers/payers, and the overall healthcare system in the United States. Beliefs, motives, and healthcare decision-making are all influenced by social and cultural origins.

By receiving cultural competency training, healthcare professionals may better comprehend the values of the population they serve and ultimately achieve better results.

The healthcare system, the physician, and the patient all benefit from cultural competency. Encouraging confidence and faith in the recommended treatment plan enhances comprehension, communication, and respect.

This is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) requirement of cultural competence principles:

  • Define culture.
  • Honor the cultural beliefs of your clientele.
  • Acknowledge that interpreting language may be challenging.
  • Encourage learning between communities and providers.
  • Include the community in the process of identifying and meeting service requirements.
  • Work along with other organizations.
  • Make staff recruiting and training more professional.
  • Make cultural competency a formality.

Factors included in cultural competence 

Cultural competence is a dynamic concept that is based on a variety of factors. Each of these factors helps a person to build tolerance for other cultures. Let us have a brief look at each of these factors. 

Cultural awareness

It is important to be aware of your own culture and beliefs while accepting the fact that, just like you, other people have their own culture and set of beliefs that they will follow.

You should not impose yours on anyone and should, instead, accept each other’s differences and live in harmony.

Cultural knowledge

You must invest your time and effort in studying different cultures, traditions, and religions, as this is the only way that you will be able to see a situation from someone else’s perspective.  

Cultural encounters

Look for places and events that will help you to interact with people from different backgrounds. Meeting new people and living in a culturally diverse environment is a strong method of building cultural competence in yourself.

Listening to people’s stories and experiences will give you a lot of answers to the questions that might pop up in your head regarding their culture.

Cultural sensitivity

Cultural sensitivity is the ability to understand that some people might hold certain cultural and religious practices very close to their hearts.

If they are stopped from practicing them, there is a high chance that this will take a toll on their mental health.

This is extremely important because often, because of our own beliefs, we tend to overlook what might be a matter of mental health for someone else. 

Learning about cultural differences that may affect mental health

Learning about cultural differences that may affect mental health

There are various ways through which counselors can develop their knowledge about cultural differences that can affect the mental health of their patients.

The first place where counselors learn about cultural competence and the harms of an absence of cultural competence in medical practice is during their undergraduate degree.

After tcompletingntheir basic education, counselors can learn more about cultural competence if they hare interested in it by enrolling in special training and workshops. 

Healthcare organizations and hospitals also play a vital role in creating awareness among their employees regarding this matter.

Hospitals that prioritize patients and their comfort make sure they invest in regular seminars and training to provide up-to-date knowledge to their staff about the importance of providing patients with culturally competent care.

Through these events, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals can learn about cultural differences and barriers that can himpacta patient’s health and how they can deal with them.

Becoming a culturally competent counselor

The first step to becoming a mental health counselor will require you to complete your bachelor’s degree in psychology.

The second step will require you to enroll in a Master’s level program such as the Online Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program offered by American International College. 

This is a great program for anyone who wishes to pursue an advanced education with a focus on learning cultural competence.

TStudents with complete flexibility can complete the program This will allow them to choose when they want to study and when they want to work.


Apart from education alone, you will need to put in extra effort to read books, talk to people, and make the deliberate choice of becoming a culturally competent mental health counselor.

This is important because practicing cultural competence is a choice. Making a conscious effort to learn about different people and their backgrounds and developing empathy for them will enable you to succeed in your mission to become a culturally competent mental health provider.

These individuals will always be in demand because of their skill in catering to the needs of patients from various ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds. So, this is a promising career path for anyone who has an interest in it.