, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 539-555

Culturally Competent Systems of Care for Children’s Mental Health: Advances and Challenges

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Abstract

There has been a remarkable growth in cultural diversity in the United States over the past 20 years. The population of minority groups has increased at a much faster rate than the European-background population in America, and faster even among children and youth. At the same time, minority youth face increasing disparities in their mental health and in access to mental health services. These are related to the multiple challenges they already face in socioeconomic status, but are aggravated by the lack of culturally competent services that can address their specific mental health needs within the context of their culture, family, and community. This paper reviews the current knowledge about the mental health of culturally diverse youth in the United States, and provides guidance on approaches to address the disparities they face.