The history of the Multiethnic Advocates for Cultural Competence, Inc. (MACC) is tied to concerns with disparities in mental heath outcomes of racial and ethnic minorities in the state’s mental health system. In 1984, the Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODMH) established the Minority Concerns Committee to look at mental health service utilization of minority populations in Ohio. Throughout the 80’s the Minority Concerns Committee issued reports and recommendations on service utilization, language on cultural competence to be included in the Mental Health Reform Act of 1988 and held the first Annual Cultural Diversity Mental Health Conference in Ohio. The Committee also:
• Began to ensure that minority utilization and cultural specific programming information was included in the Community Plan reports to ODMH
• Worked with the Minority Concerns Committee to develop culturally specific language for inclusion into the ODMH Community Certification Standards and Survey Criteria
• Began implementation of recommendations of the Minority Concerns Committee Report, i.e., ethnic demographic data collection and review; minority inclusions on planning and policy development boards, committees, taskforces; funding of cultural diversity training to mental health service providers, planners and administrators.
In 1990, the Multi-Ethnic Mental Health Consortium was established and funded by ODMH. The name was later changed to the Multi-Ethnic Behavioral Health Consortium to reflect the inclusion of substance use and co-occurring disorders. The Consortium, a statewide collaborative body, was made up of people of color from around the state who worked to address the mental health needs of individuals from racial, ethnic and cultural communities. They were also charged with developing, operating and maintaining the Multi-Ethnic Behavioral Health Resource and Training Center.
Throughout the 90’s the Consortium developed research reports on utilization, culturally competent care, cultural assessment tools and contributed to the development of the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s “Cultural Competence Standards in Managed Mental Health Care for Four Underserved/Underrepresented Racial/Ethnic Groups” published in 1997.
In 2000, the Consortium in partnership with ODMH developed the highly acclaimed Consolidated Cultural Assessment Tool (C-CAT) to assist behavioral health providers and boards in assessing their level of cultural competence. In 2003, the Consortium was formally organized, as the Multiethnic Advocates for Cultural Competence, Inc. (MACC) to make cultural competence a cornerstone in Ohio's behavioral health system.
MACC is a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit statewide membership organization. A twenty-member board of directors governs the organization. Board members represent consumers, consumer family members, advocates, behavioral, health professionals, and other human service disciplines that care for vulnerable populations and are nominated and elected by the membership.
MACC’s mission is to enhance the quality of care in Ohio’s behavioral health system and to incorporate cultural competence into systems and organizations that provide care to Ohio’s vulnerable and at-risk populations. MACC conducted the first ever-statewide mental health needs assessment among eleven racial, ethnic and cultural communities titled, “Learning Your Needs” Cultural Competence Needs Assessment Project 2006 and updated it in 2008 to include the Somali culture.
The organization recently worked with the ODMH, Ohio state departments/agencies, cultural organizations, consumers/families and others to adopt the first in the nation state cultural competence definition to assist Ohio in moving towards cultural competence in service and care.
MACC continues to host a yearly statewide training conference and annual meeting, regional lectures/trainings, a Resource Library, online calendar of cultural trainings, events and research conferences and provides technical assistance to organizations and individuals.