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Lack of Diversity in Behavioral Healthcare Leadership Reflected in Services

  • Linda Rosenberg
Commentary

Abstract

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.

Keywords

diversity cultural competence behavioral health leadership ethnic and racial minorities mental health and addictions diversity 

References

  1. 1.
    U.S. Census Bureau. U.S. Interim Projections by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin. 2004. http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/usinterimproj/. Accessed January 7, 2008.
  2. 2.
    Department of Health and Human Services. Mental Health: Culture, Race, and Ethnicity, A Supplement to Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. 2001. Executive Summary, page 6. http://download.ncadi.samhsa.gov/ken/pdf/SMA-01-3613/exec_summ.pdf, Accessed February 19, 2008.
  3. 3.
    Witt/Kieffer. Advancing Diversity Leadership in Health Care: A National Survey of Healthcare Executives. 2007. http://www.wittkieffer.com/health/index.cfm/page/resources/seqnumber_content/176. Accessed January 7, 2008.
  4. 4.
    United States Senate. Bill Number S. 2182. Available online at http://Thomas.loc.gov/. SEC. 5. Improving the Mental Health Workforce Sec. 340h. Grants for Recruitment and Retention of Mental Health Professionals. (a) Establishment. Retrieved February 19, 2008.
  5. 5.
    Improving the Quality of Health Care for Mental and Substance-Use Conditions: Quality Chasm Series (Summary). Washington, D.C. Adaptation to Mental Health and Addictive Disorders, Committee on Crossing the Quality Chasm, Board on Health Care Services and Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Box S-1: 8, 2006.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Council for Community Behavioral HealthcareRockvilleUSA

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