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Cultural Considerations in Mental Health Treatment for Ethnic Minority Populations

Presented by Stanley Sue, PhD

Presenter Bio

Stanley Sue is a clinical psychologist whose work has been devoted to race, ethnicity, and culture. He specialized in mental health issues and the delivery of mental health services to Asian Americans and other ethnic and racial minorities. His positions include Assistant to Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington (1971-1981), Professor of Psychology at UCLA (1981-1996), and Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Davis and Palo Alto University (1996-2016). He served as Science Editor for the U.S. Surgeon General’s Supplementary Report on culture, ethnicity, and mental health. Dr. Sue has published a number of articles and books including a widely-used Abnormal Psychology textbook. In 2012, the Scopus h-index, which is one of the most influential ratings of scholarly impact and contributions, revealed that Dr. Sue ranked first in the multicultural counseling field (Ponterotto, Fingerhut, & McGuinness, 2012).

His research has been devoted to the study of the adjustment of, and delivery of mental health services to, culturally-diverse groups. His work documented the difficulties that Asian Americans and other ethnic minority groups experience in receiving adequate mental health services and offered directions for providing culturally-appropriate forms of treatment. Dr. Sue has received numerous awards for his research, including the 2003 American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Contributions to Applied Research Award and the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Psychological Association. He served as 2010 President of the Western Psychological Association and 2015 President of APA Division 45.

This course examines development of cultural competency skills in mental health treatment. Several questions are addressed:

(1) Why is there a need for cultural competency? This question is addressed by analyzing the research on mental health disparities that exist among ethnic minority groups.
(2) What kinds of adaptations to treatment are needed? The role of various interventions (language, cultural knowledge, use of metaphors, etc.) is discussed.
(3) Do cultural interventions work or are they a reflection of political correctness? What is the research evidence for their effectiveness?
(4) How can we improve on our skills in working with people from differing cultural background? A tool kit is constructed that include steps for the personal development of cultural competency.
(5) What are ongoing and future issues that have emerged from cultural competency?

Course Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the role of culture in mental health treatment and assessment
  2. Apply knowledge about the research involved in cultural competency
  3. Develop a toolkit in working with people from different cultures
  4. Connect research findings into self-awareness, informed interventions, and skills

Instructional Level


Licensed mental health professionals employed through Kaiser Permanente and psychological assistants performing under supervision of a licensed psychologist.

This CE program is free to Kaiser Permanente employees.
Instructional Methodology
On-line Presentation

Continuing Education Information

Kaiser Permanente Northern California Mental Health Training Program is approved by the California Psychological Association to provide continuing professional education for psychologists. The Kaiser Permanente Northern California Mental Health Training Program maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Refund and Attendance Policy

All programs offered on KP Learn for CE credit through the KP Northern California Mental Health Training website are free of charge to Kaiser Permanente Staff and trainees. Once a course is selected in the KP NCAL MH Training Website, the registration process begins, and it will appear in the individuals KP Learn profile for completion within 90 days.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Those who attend the program in full and complete the appropriate evaluation form will receive CE credits. Please note that credit will only be granted to those who attend the entire program. An attestation of attendance will be given once the individual has completed viewing the program, which will then initiate the final steps of completing the evaluation forms to receive a certificate of completion.

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