In 1999, I founded Georgia’s only comprehensive Latino Behavioral Health Organization. I followed The National Academy of Medicine’s continuum of care, formerly called the Institute of Medicine, and with it I structured the organization.

In 1994, the Institute of Medicine recognized the need for a framework for health planning that went beyond the distinction between primary (prevention), secondary (intervention), and tertiary (treatment) phases then in use. The Institute commissioned development of the framework summarized in the IOM “protractor” (Figure 1). The result, with the help of some amazing individuals, was the development of a comprehensive care organization that included a Prevention/Promotion branch, an Intervention branch (called Clubhouses), a Treatment or direct mental health and substance use disorder services branch and an Aftercare or recovery/peer branch.

This framework for health planning allowed us to focus on the needs of our target population.

We developed an organization that was able to serve individuals and families with limited English proficiency in English, Spanish and Portuguese. We provided behavioral health services covering the entire spectrum of disorders from anxiety and depression to personality disorders and schizophrenia. We served children beginning at three years of age all the way to older adults.

We developed our own workforce, helping over 40 bilingual clinicians achieve state licensing and play therapy registration including a bilingual psychologist, License Professional Counselors (LPC), Licensed Clinical Social Workers, (LCSW), Certified Addiction Counselors (CAC and CADC), Certified Prevention Specialists (CPS) and a bilingual psychiatrist from Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta that allowed her to complete her psychiatric residency with us under the supervision of our bilingual psychiatrist.

We were the first organization focusing on serving those with limited English proficiency to earn State licensing as a Drug Abuse Treatment Program and to earn national accreditation through CARF.

We developed this organization from one individual and no funding to a strong organization serving over 150 people a day for clinical services and thousands of families in prevention and intervention services with the help of 72 employees in five cities and annual revenue close to 5 million dollars.

The process used to achieve this success is this program, The Mancini Method for Cultural and Linguistically Responsive Care Curriculum.

I developed The Mancini Method for Cultural and Linguistically Responsive Care curriculum to provide any healthcare serving system, department, division, or agency with a roadmap of what it takes to achieve Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness, placing Racial and Social Justice as part of the foundation for this work and a process to help you get there.

All agencies should begin by performing Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness assessments to better understand where they lie on the competency continuum. By taking the time and making the effort to assess where they are, they can develop a road map to get to a level to better serve the entire population.

This curriculum provides a variety of approaches, methods, and tools, which departments, divisions, agencies, and providers can choose from to best meet their needs.

Some of the steps that generally must be part of the preparation to undertake this process include:

Performing an Agency Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness Assessment
Selecting a Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness Coordinator
Getting Buy-in and Building Community Partnerships
Convene a Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness Steering Committee
Initial Training in Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness
Measure Cultural and Linguistic Readiness
Congratulations on taking the first step of your journey into Cultural and Linguistic Responsive Care.