Culturally Competent Mental Health Services in Jonesboro, Arkansas: A Comprehensive Guide

Counseling is an invaluable resource for individuals in Jonesboro, AR who are facing challenges related to family, culture, sexual orientation, religion, and other differentiating factors. The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) is dedicated to helping people with disabilities find employment through the Arkansas Rehabilitation Services Branch. This branch focuses on CAPACITY rather than DISABILITY and provides a variety of services. Reform Alliance is a nonprofit organization that works to ensure all K-12 students in Arkansas have access to quality education.

Special Olympics Arkansas offers year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The Northeast Arkansas Learning Center provides an early intervention developmental treatment center, outpatient therapy services, a private school for children with autism, ABA therapy, developmental therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy, as well as a diagnostic center and resources for psychological testing. The United States Government Department of Justice also provides official websites for information. Given the diversity of the United States population, there is an urgent need for culturally competent mental health providers. Research from the American Psychological Association, Frontiers in Public Health, and Journal of Mental Health Counseling supports this need.

Mind Align Counseling offers outpatient mental health counseling for teens and adults. The Northeast Arkansas Mental Health Awareness Training Project is designed to create a more responsive environment for people in the 13-county catchment area by increasing capacity and providing training and support in mental health awareness. This project will also establish community links through which people are referred to appropriate treatment and services. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) works to lead public health and service delivery efforts that promote mental health, prevent substance abuse, and provide treatment and support to promote recovery. Cultural competence in mental health providers means the ability to provide services that recognize and appreciate the cultural differences between the patient and the therapist.

Evidence-based motivational interviewing (MI) and evidence-based client navigators (training is based on an effective model of community health workers) will guide the outreach, participation, and retention of clients and families. New specific interventions will address health disparities such as access to primary and behavioral health care, HIV prevention, and smoking cessation. When mental health professionals adapt to and respect the differences in opinions, values, and attitudes of marginalized people including communities of color and LGBTQ+ communities, patients are less likely to be misdiagnosed and more likely to continue treatment. The Northeast Arkansas Mental Health Awareness Training Project will address the need to raise mental health awareness among a wide range of people by developing a multidimensional inter-agency mental health first aid advisory board comprised of stakeholders. This approach to training trainers will result in hundreds of people being able to recognize the signs of mental illness and know how to refer people to the right resources as needed.

The project will also ensure sustainability over time by applying the NADCP adult drug court best practice standards and the 10 key components of mental health courts.

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