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Cultural profiles aim to give a sketch of the background of specific groups to support cultural competence and improve the delivery of appropriate mental health care. Understanding the history and current circumstances of ethnocultural groups and communities allows for recognition and valuing of difference. However, profiles also carry the risk of stereotyping and ignoring the variation within groups, as well as reinforcing racialized or ethnic labels that are associated with racism and discrimination. What a particular ethnic or cultural group experiences is determined not only by their own values and perspectives but also by the context in which they live, which includes interactions with other ethnocultural groups as well as the institutions of mainstream society.
Review of Cultural Profiles The Nathan Kline Institute Centre of Excellence in Culturally Competent Mental Health website provides cultural profiles of major ethnocultural blocs in New York State (African American, Asian American and Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native Peoples, Latino), reviewing the existing professional literature and government reports on cultural groups in New York State. These profiles highlight demography and immigration information, prevalence rates of mental disorders, views of mental illness, cultural values that impact on mental health service use, care seeking patterns, barriers to professional services, and the impact of acculturation processes. The Website also provides tool-kits to increase cultural competence.