"Foremost, cultural competence provides clients with more opportunities to access services that reflect a cultural perspective on and alternative, culturally congruent approaches to their presenting problems. Culturally responsive services will likely provide a greater sense of safety from the client’s perspective, supporting the belief that culture is essential to healing. Even though not all clients identify with or desire to connect with their cultures, culturally responsive services offer clients a chance to explore the impact of culture (including historical and generational events), acculturation, discrimination, and bias, and such services also allow them to examine how these impacts relate to or affect their mental and physical health. Culturally responsive practice recognizes the fundamental importance of language and the right to language accessibility, including translation and interpreter services. For clients, culturally responsive services honor the beliefs that culture is embedded in the clients’ language and their implicit and explicit communication styles and that languageaccommodating services can have a positive effect on clients’ responses to treatment and subsequent engagement in recovery services."


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Improving Cultural Competence. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series No. 59. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4849. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014.