175995 Engaging the Filipino Community to be Partners in Behavioral Health and Recovery Services

Monday, October 27, 2008: 10:45 AM

Jei Africa, PsyD, MSCP , Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Division, San Mateo County, San Mateo, CA
Scott Morrow, MD, MPH , Health Officer, San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo, CA
It is estimated that over a million Californians suffer from mental illness. With the passing of the Mental Health Services Act or Proposition 63 in California, county mental health agencies were given funds to improve and develop services (i.e. access and engagement to communities who have been considered unserved and underserved, or inappropriately served) including Filipinos in San Mateo County.

Preparation for the Community Supports and Services plan, the first component of the MHSA, involved over 100 focus groups with staff, community and faith leaders, consumers and family members, public officials and other stakeholders to discussions on what needs and priorities should be addressed.

A collaboration of culturally-specific community based organizations from the local Filipino community responded with a proposal engage the Filipino community. Known as the Filipino Mental Health Initiative (FMHI), its goal is to increase awareness of health and mental health issues and resources among Filipinos using culturally appropriate outreach and education methods.

To date, over 150 providers have been trained on how to engage Filipino consumers and family members into treatment by education on Filipino values, beliefs and practices in areas such as health and wellbeing. A Filipino-based curriculum was created in order to train providers. In addition, FMHI has reached more than 100 individuals in a variety of community events, and provided information and linkages to community-based health and mental health services.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the impact of the Mental Health Services Act resources to local communities 2. Describe key strategies to engage stakeholders in improving public mental health systems 3. Discuss methods on how to culturally engage Filipinos

Keywords: Cultural Competency, Asian Americans

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved with the development of this initiative.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.