The ACMH concentration is designed to enhance students’ awareness and knowledge of the roles of class, ethnicity, gender, race, sexual orientation, ability and disability, language, and minority and immigrant status in the mental health of historically marginalized individuals and communities. The concentration aims to recruit, mentor and educate mental health providers to address disparities and inequalities in mental health policies, research and clinical practices; and actively engage them in advocacy efforts to improve the health and well-being of Black communities locally and across the globe.
Concentration courses will expose students to a variety of theories and clinical practices that are intended to promote cultural competence. Through didactic and experiential activities, students will be introduced to culturally-responsive assessment methods, diagnostic evaluation tools, and psychological interventions with a focus on the interconnected behavioral, social, emotional and spiritual needs of culturally and linguistically diverse clients. Concentration students will appreciate how culture shapes and influences behaviors in cross-cultural and multicultural contexts; critically examine issues of diversity and cross-cultural considerations in diagnosing, counseling, and treating individuals of diverse cultural backgrounds; and explore mental health and illness through a broadened social justice and multicultural lens. Students will also expand their knowledge of psychosocial factors that are germane to providing culturally-sensitive psychotherapeutic services to Black/African/African-American/Caribbean individuals, families, and communities.
Additionally, service learning programs and cultural immersion experiences in international settings such as Guyana, Haiti and Kenya will enhance students’ sensitivity to diversity and difference, promote learning and sharing of cross-cultural experiences, enhance students’ competence in building therapeutic relationships with diverse populations, increase students’ awareness of ethics and standards appropriate to professional practice with culturally diverse populations, and expand students’ global perspectives of psychological theories and their application to culturally diverse groups. Opportunities for local immersion experiences that do not require students to travel internationally are also available and will fulfill the concentration requirements.