Starting At the Beginning - Chapter 2: Cultural psychiatry as the basic science of addressing health and mental health disparities

Elsevier,   Starting At the Beginning, July 2020, Pages 31-42
Anthony P.S. Guerrero and Joy K.L. Andrade

Cultural psychiatry’s focus has shifted its focus on ‘culture-bound syndromes’, to cultural competence training, to addressing mental health disparities and related injustices. Tools to hardwire culturally competent approaches include cultural formulation interviews and frameworks to address implicit biases. Professional organizations have elaborated on the components of culturally effective child and adolescent psychiatric care and have supported the principles that cultural assessment is important in ensuring access to mental healthcare, in ensuring accurate formulation and appropriate treatment, and in appreciating the acculturative and related stressors that can increase youth psychiatric risk. With these principles in mind and with consideration of lessons learned from a case vignette, the authors propose that, from a population health perspective, the specialty should work towards reducing—as with other types of trauma and other known risk factors for psychopathology—stressors that adversely affect healthy cultural identification and cultural adjustment in children globally.