On August 12, 2008 MACC announced the release of their 2008 “Learning Your Needs” Updated Cultural Competence Needs Assessment Report featuring new mental health information on the Somali community.
The report updates a statewide 2006 Cultural Competence Needs Assessment conducted for the Ohio Department of Mental Health. We learned that each generation of Somalis have their own set of cultural values that are based on both religion and tribal identity. This coupled with a lack of understanding of how to “navigate” the mental health system and the secrecy of family members to disclose mental illness, inhibits their ability to access or reach out for services”, said Charleta B. Tavares, MACC Executive Director.
The Somali focus groups were conducted in traditional and culturally appropriate methods, which included a Somali facilitator, Liban Bule and groups divided, by gender and generation. “As our Somali population in Central Ohio continues to grow and the need for services for this new community increases, we want to understand how best to reach out and provide services that are culturally appropriate,” stated Suzanne Coleman-Tolbert, MACC Board chair.
The Ohio Department of Mental Health and MACC are working together to learn about the mental health needs of racial, ethnic and cultural communities throughout the state of Ohio. “We are working with MACC to inform our system and develop strategies to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health services. This report will continue our work to identify barriers and gaps in services for Ohio’s residents”, said Debbie Nixon-Hughes, ODMH Deputy Director.
The report was release today at the Somali Women and Children’s Alliance located in the Global Mall at 2210 Morse Road in Columbus, Ohio. MACC conducted the state of Ohio’s first ever-statewide cultural competence needs assessment for the Ohio Department of Mental Health to gather information on racial, ethnic and cultural communities’ needs in 2006 (download copy at www.maccinc.net). The update focuses on the growing Somali population in Ohio.
MACC is a statewide membership association of health, behavioral health, education, social service and other care providers, administrators, professionals, family members, consumers and advocates dedicated to making Cultural Competence a best practice in Ohio’s systems of care.
For information, please contact Charleta B. Tavares at MACC (614-221-7841)