Lack of Diversity in Behavioral Healthcare Leadership Reflected in Services
America’s rapidly changing demographics present an enormous challenge for today’s healthcare leaders to redesign the organization and delivery of care to accommodate people who now represent every language, culture and religious belief in the world. So will mental health and addictions services in this country be ready to address the unique needs of these multicultural patients? A survey of the present landscape in 2008 tells us that we have a long, long way to go. Not only are mental health and addictions fields lacking in cultural competency, but there is little diversity in our leadership ranks. Top administrators and executives in behavioral health today are overwhelmingly non-Hispanic whites. This lack of cultural diversity among our leaders will lead to an ever-widening gap in the current chasm of racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare.
Keywordsdiversity cultural competence behavioral health leadership ethnic and racial minorities mental health and addictions diversity
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