The Office of Multicultural Services has moved to
theCalifornia Department of Public Health
and is now within the OFFICE OF HEALTH EQUITY
You can contact us at:
Department of Public Health
Office of the Director
PO Box 997377, MS 0500
Sacramento, CA 95899-7377
Office Number: 916-322-2199
Staff Services Manager
Staff Mental Health Specialist
Associate Government Program Analyst
The California Department of Mental Health (DMH) Office of Multicultural Services (OMS), established in 1998, provides leadership direction to DMH for promoting and establishing culturally and linguistically competent mental health services within the public mental health system through actions targeted both within and external to DMH. OMS works with community partners to eliminate racial, ethnic, cultural and language disparities in access and quality of care within mental health programs and services.With the support of the DMH Director, OMS coordinates efforts to reduce disparities in access and quality of care for California’s racial, ethnic, and cultural unserved and underserved communities. OMS works to foster change in policy, access, language, clinical practice, research, and intervention practices
For more information, please refer to the OMS Fact Sheet
- Cultural Competency
OMS is responsible for ensuring that cultural competence is embedded into all facets of the Department. OMS fosters an understanding of society as a “mosaic” rather than a “melting pot,” thereby honoring and celebrating the diversity within California.
- Community Engagement
OMS makes every effort to dialogue with community partners, community leaders, and community members. OMS is committed to supporting the growth of “Community Defined Evidence” through which new strategies, approaches, and interventions defined by individual communities can be identified and supported to achieve a higher level of evidence.
Community Defined Evidence is defined as a set of practices that communities have used and determined to yield positive results as determined by community consensus over time and which may or may not have been measured empirically but have reached a level of acceptance by the community (Ken Martinez, Psy.D., El Boletin, Fall/Winter 2008, p.9).
- Cultural Competence Plans
In 1998, California was the first state to require all counties to develop cultural competence plans as a tool to assess disparities and identify strategies for addressing those disparities.
OMS is responsible for developing and implementing the Cultural Competence Plan Requirements (CCPR). The CCPR requires counties to identify, analyze, and report disparities in mental health services for unserved and underserved communities and to develop strategies to address these disparities. The OMS reviews each plan and provides feedback to county mental health departments. Please click here for more information on the CCPR.
- MHSA Plan Reviews
The 2004 passage of Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) was a major new investment in mental health system. OMS took an active role, in partnership with the Cultural Competence Advisory Committee (CCAC), to integrate and embed cultural and linguistic competence requirements into each of the five major components of the MHSA to address disparities and respond to the needs of California’s diverse communities.
OMS reviews county MHSA plans for Community Services and Supports, Workforce Education and Training, Housing, Innovation, and Prevention and Early Intervention.
- Training and Curriculum Development
OMS coordinates and provides training for DMH Headquarters staff in the area of cultural competence. Additionally, OMS has trained staff in implementation of the California Brief Multicultural Competence Scale, and retains contracts with cultural competence consultants to design and implement comprehensive cultural competence training curricula.
OMS develops and manages several contracts related to cultural competency, including current contracts with the California Reducing Disparities Project; the California Institute for Mental Health; AvantPage; and Cultural Competence Consultants. In the past, OMS has worked with Language People Translations; Inter-Tribal Council of California; and UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities.
- 2010 Cultural Competence Plan Requirements
- Office of Multicultural Services Strategic Plan
- California Reducing Disparities Project
- Informational Fact Sheets
- Latino Access Study: Final Report
- Internal DMH Workgroup to Improve Disparities Data Collection
- California Brief Multicultural Competence Scale (CBMCS) Training Program
OMS had a leadership role in the partial funding, development, successful completion and publication of a new multicultural training curriculum entitled “The California Brief Multicultural Competence Scale (CBMCS) Training Programs” (Dana, Gamst, Der-Karabetian, 2008). Based upon several years of research and collaboration among University of La Verne, CA DMH, CIMH and CMHDA, this unique training program gives mental health providers a valuable tool in working with diverse populations. The 32 hour CBMCS training program includes four training modules: 1) Multicultural Knowledge, 2) Awareness of Cultural Barriers, 3) Sensitivity and Responsiveness to Consumers, and 4) Socio-cultural Diversities. For more information, visit the CBMCS Multicultural Training Program website.
- Mental Health Interpreter Training Program
DMH also supported the development of a Mental Health Interpreter training program, in partnership with National Latino Behavioral Health Association. CIMH, and community mental health agencies. The DMH helped fund the pilot and evaluation of this training curriculum that is now available to county mental health programs. For purchase information, visit the National Latino Behavioral Health Association (NLBHA) website.
- Cultural Competence Mental Health Summit
The OMS has participated for several years as a conference planner and trainer for the statewide Cultural Competence Mental Health Summit. This annually held conference presents current cultural competence training issues to public mental health and other services providers. Due to the California budget crisis, in 2011 sees a first-time split of two regional conferences: one in Los Angeles, and one in San Jose.
OMS staff partner with numerous stakeholder organizations and committees, including but not limited to:
- California Mental Health Director’s Association’s Cultural Competence/Ethnic Service Managers Committee
- Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission’s Cultural and Linguistic Competence Committee
- DMH’s Cultural Competence Advisory Committee (Chairperson)
- Cultural Brokers
- CA Women’s Mental Health Policy Council
- State Interagency Team Workgroup to Eliminate Disparities (Chairperson)
- DMH Compliance Advisory Committee
- California Department of Health Care Services- Language Access Taskforce
- Mental Health and Spirituality Committee
- California Institute of Mental Health- Center for Multicultural Development
- California Mental Health Planning Council- Cultural Competence Committee and Quality Improvement Committee
- National Network to Eliminate Disparities (SAMHSA)
- National Center on Cultural Competence (Georgetown University)
- Federal office of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)