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America is in the midst of a cultural transition. It was predicted that by the 21st century people of color would be the new majority. The impact upon the future work force has been recognized by the corporate world, and businesses are beginning to address the issues of managing a multicultural workplace. Addressing cultural diversity and differences is relatively new in the mental health arena. This paper will attempt to point up some of the challenges faced, the barriers to be addressed, and historical problems that exist. Also, some suggestions will be put forth to help mental health professionals and organizations work toward becoming more culturally competent. This paper will not deal with any particular culture in depth, but will attempt to identify and highlight the common cultural barriers that exist with Asians, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, and African Americans that must be addressed by the mental health system to achieve cultural competency. (Author)
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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services