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The Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research

Social Solutions and Services Research

Center for Research on Cultural & Structural Equity in Behavioral Health (C-CASE)

CCASE co-Director

In November 2007, NKI received funding from the NYS Office of Mental Health to establish a Center of Excellence in Culturally Competent Mental Health. Under new leadership in November 2015, the Center was renamed the Center for Research on Cultural & Structural Equity in Behavioral Health (C-CASE). This name change signals a refinement of our mission, which recognizes that psychiatric/behavioral health care has been segregated from primary medical care since its inception. Our desire is now to create whole person primary health care, which carries with it a greater emphasis on social determinants and processes.

Areas of Activity
  • Behavioral Health Care Reform
  • NYS needs assessment/planning aids
  • Outreach and engagement strategies
  • Enhancing the cultural and structural competency of services
  • Cultural and structural competency assessments
  • Cultural and structural competency training
  • Behavioral health disparities research
  • Information exchange with OMH, communities and service providers
Behavioral Health Care Reform
  • We work with the OMH MCO (managed care organization) contract team to ensure that cultural competency mandates are included in contracts.
  • We work with the Montefiore Hudson Valley Participating Provider System for inclusion of Cultural Competency/Health Literacy (CC/HL) strategies in their PPS infrastructure. We help them finalize CC/HL strategies and dissemination plans and to develop a training strategy focused on addressing the drivers of health disparities.
Outreach and Engagement Strategies
  • In collaboration with Baltic Street AEH, we are developing a Facilitators Guide for a Peer Cultural Competency Training Collaborative (PCCTC). As peers become more integrated in all forms of health care delivery, cultural competency will be an ever more valuable skill set to not only engage with the people they serve in more meaningful ways, but encourage them to share the cultural information salient to them and their recovery process with health care providers. We are currently in discussions to pilot the PCCTC.
  • We are working with the Multicultural Advisory Committees in Westchester and Broome Counties to disseminate and evaluate Center materials.  The goal is to assemble leaders from diverse religious groups to explore their experiences with mental illness in their congregations, and assess the value of NKI materials for outreach to churches with large numbers of immigrants or otherwise culturally diverse congregations. This meeting will inform convened clergy groups of the possible role they can play as cultural brokers.
  • With the OMH Bureau of Cultural Competence, we surveyed and conducted a field study of the impact of Spirituality Groups in State mental health facilities, and evaluated the Manual for Spirituality Groups in Mental Health Programs (a previously developed Center manual) based on the trainings held in state facilities. Facilities that have actively introduced spirituality groups are being studied in depth to determine how their groups contribute to patient empowerment and coping.