Cultural Competence

hands of many colors raised up


NYAPRS is committed to ensuring that all of its services and initiatives are culturally and linguistically competent. Through advocacy, we seek to eliminate the health care disparities that frequently leave the most marginalized populations in peril. We actively use community education and technical assistance as tools to provide agencies with the knowledge needed to create organizations that embody the principles of recovery, rehabilitation, and rights for all.

What is Cultural Competence?

Cultural competence is a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency or among professionals and enable that system, agency or those professions to work effectively in cross-cultural situations. The word culture is used because it implies the integrated pattern of human behavior that includes thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values and institutions of a racial, ethnic, religious or social group. The word competence is used because it implies having the capacity to function effectively (Cross et al, 1989).

The Cultural Competence Committee

In addition to the work done through our advocacy, technical assistance, and initiatives, NYAPRS' committment to cultural competence is realized through the organizing and efforts of our Cultural Competence Committee. The Committee is a statewide coalition of New Yorkers who use and or provide recovery-centered, community-based, publicly funded mental health services dedicated to promoting the integrated delivery of cultural competence mental health services throughout New York State.

Through forums, committee meetings, and special events, the Cultural Competence Committee acts to:

  • Promote the integration of the concepts, values, principles and practice of cultural competence

  • Promote the widespread availability of culturally competent mental health services throughout New York State

  • Promote the rights of people with psychiatric disabilities and advocate for the elimination of health care disparities.

The Committee meets regularly via teleconference. Teleconference times are subject to change. To be added to the Cultural Competency Committee list, please contact Casey Ciceron at (518) 436-0008 , or caseyc@nyaprs.org.