Cultural Competence Standards in Managed Care Mental Health Services for Asian and Pacific Islander Americans

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Self Help



APIA culturally competent self help groups shall be created to provide services to consumers and their families. The self help groups shall function as part of a seamless continuum of care. Self help groups for APIA consumers shall incorporate consumer-driven goals and objectives that are functionally defined and oriented towards rehabilitative and recovery outcomes. Equal consideration and support shall be given to family and primary consumer self help groups.


Implementation Guidelines

  1. Managed care plans for behavioral health programs shall include resources to enable APIA consumers and their families to utilize the self-help approach.
  2. APIA consumers and their families shall design, implement, and evaluate self help programs. APIA culturally competent Mental Health Specialists shall serve in a consultative or educational role at the request of the consumer group.
  3. Existing self help entities (programs, agencies, and systems) that provide services to APIA consumers and their families shall be identified, acknowledged, and supported to ensure that they meet these standards rather than set up competing structures.
  4. Self help planning for APIA consumers and their families shall include consumer and family education about problems and conditions being treated and treatment approaches. Cultural beliefs and attitudes about health, spirituality, mental health, as well as education about preventive approaches shall be addressed.
  5. Consumer self help groups shall advocate on behalf of APIA consumers and their families to ensure benefit packages, changes in benefits, alterations in services, location of service programs, and changes in providers are congruent with consumer needs.
  6. Self help planning for APIA consumers and their families shall address coordination of mental, spiritual, and physical health, as well as other needed social, treatment, and support services (e.g. housing, transportation, education, and substance abuse services) according to the health beliefs and practices of the consumer and family.


Recommended Performance Indicators

  1. Program in place to support APIA consumers and families utilization of self help approaches.
  2. Program in place to support APIA consumers and their families to develop culturally competent self help programs.


Recommended Outcomes

  1. APIA consumer satisfaction with availability of self help approaches in the delivery of mental health care planning.
    Benchmark: 90% consumer satisfaction.