Culturally Responsive Care

Cultural influences include historical, geographical, social, and familial factors. Culture is important because it bears upon what all people, patient or provider, bring to a clinical setting. Our cultures affect the way we express our thoughts, behaviors and emotions, and impact an individual's mental health related experiences. It can account for variations in how or what people communicate regarding symptoms. Finding or being a provider who can offer culturally responsive care improves treatment outcomes.

Resource Collections

National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Behavioral Health (NNED) - COVID-19 Resources for Diverse Communities

Responding to COVID-19 can take an emotional toll. There are things medical professionals and first responders can do to reduce secondary traumatic stress (STS) reactions:

  • Acknowledge that STS can impact anyone helping families after a traumatic event.
  • Learn the symptoms including physical (fatigue, illness) and mental (fear, withdrawal, guilt).
  • Allow time for you and your family to recover from responding to the pandemic.
  • Create a menu of personal self-care activities that you enjoy, such as spending time with friends and family, exercising, or reading a book.
  • Take breaks from media coverage of COVID-19.
  • Ask for help if you feel overwhelmed or concerned that COVID-19 is affecting your ability to care for your family and patients as you did before the outbreak.

Adapted from the CDC website. Read more CDC tips for taking care of yourself during emergency response and read the SAMHSA tip sheet, Tips for Disaster Responders: Preventing and Managing Stress

This information was compiled by the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) Executive Committee. The information published below  is drawn from a document updated and shared on 4/4/2020. The AAPA is regularly updating content, please visit 

Mental health and self-care

Responding to racism and xenophobia

Parenting/caregiving and other family resources

Other best practices

Anti-stigma statements

The COVID-19 crisis is hurting us all, but it’s not hurting us all equally. The data that would allow us to document the pandemic’s uneven toll rigorously either are not being gathered or are only now emerging - and, still, it’s already clear that communities of color, including children, once again are on the frontlines of vulnerability. 

EmbraceRace, a multiracial community of parents, teachers, experts, and other caring adults who support each other to meet the challenges that race poses to our children, families, and communities, has gathered links that begin to tell the story of the impact of COVID-19 on Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and other racialized communities. A list of group-specific resources is included. 

Disproportionate racial impacts of COVID-19

Guide for Parents of Asian/Asian American Adolescents, a guide for parents created by faculty and students in the William James College Asian Mental Health Concentration. Available in multiple languages.

Stigma occurs when people incorrectly associate a risk with a specific people, place, or thing. Stigmatization is especially common in disease outbreaks. Public health emergencies, such as the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), are stressful times for people and communities. Fear and anxiety about a disease can lead to social stigma toward people, places, or things. For example, stigma and discrimination can occur when people associate a disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality, even though not everyone in that population or from that region is specifically at risk for the disease. Stigma can also occur after a person has been released from COVID-19 quarantine even though they are not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others.

Some groups of people who may be experiencing stigma because of COVID-19 include:

  • Persons of Asian descent
  • People who have traveled
  • Emergency responders or healthcare professionals

The mission of the Somali Parents Advocacy Center for Education (SPACE) is to support, educate, and empower Somali families.  Learn more via the SPACE website