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Toolkit for Modifying Evidence-Based Practices to Increase Cultural Competence

Lack of cultural competence can also contribute to barriers to engagement or continued utilization of available mental health services. These barriers can include stigma perceived by consumers, mistrust of the mental health care system based on previous experiences, conflicting ideas about what constitutes mental health and illness, culturally-based help-seeking behaviors, historical oppression, lack of insurance, and individual and institutional discrimination. Elimination of barriers to care and improved access to high quality care are thought to increase service utilization and improve outcomes for cultural groups. It is widely understood that culturally competent services are necessary in order to improve the mental health system in the US.