Staff representatives from each Division and Program within the Center for Mental Health Services have been asked to participate on the CMHS Internal Workgroup for the EMHD Initiative and other related activities. The CMHS Internal Workgroup provides oversight of the effort and coordination of activities related to cultural and linguistic competence and disparities across CMHS.
SAMHSA’s Cultural Competence and Eliminating Disparities (CCED) Matrix Work Group is composed of staff selected by the Center and Office Directors. The Work Group has been charged with developing an agency-wide plan to address CCED and build a more coordinated effort. As a cross-cutting principle on the SAMHSA Matrix, CCED is to be addressed in each of the Matrix work groups. The CCED Work Group works collaboratively and with representation from the related Center efforts: CMHS’s Eliminating Mental Health Disparities Initiative and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT)’s 4 ethnic-specific work groups and external stakeholder groups. The early focus of the CCED Work group was to:
Identify priorities and develop consensus;
Share information about relevant CCED activities in the Centers and Offices;
Build a sense of collegiality around the topic and issues; and
Draft a CCED road map and work plan.
The Work Group has drafted a Cultural Competence and Eliminating Disparities Roadmap for SAMHSA and a two-year Work Plan (2007-2008). The Work Group aligned their road map with SAMHSA’s strategic plan, (emphasizing accountability, capacity and effectiveness) and with the HHS Secretary’s “Healthy People 2010” initiative addressing health disparities.