Advocating for clients is something that every mental health counselor should be familiar with; however, there may be times when counselors do not properly advocate for their clients. This may happen for a number of reasons, but it is important to be aware of different advocacy processes so you can better assist your clients.
Imagine you are a mental health counselor who has been asked to help your agency develop a program for a specific cultural population. Your agency will be providing mental health counseling to a community that is mostly foreign to your staff. Before you begin seeing clients, your agency decides to conduct a cultural study of the population. You have been tasked with sharing your cultural findings with your colleagues. Your goal is to provide culturally responsive mental health counseling services in the community.
Choose a cultural group with whom you have little familiarity to research as the focus of this project. Select a different group than the one you investigated in the Week 3 Cultural Plunge.
Research the population through academic, peer-reviewed studies.
Note: As part of your research, you can either observe the population, interview members of the population or service providers, or participate with members of the population in a routine activity.
Create one of the following to present your cultural study:
- A 10- to 15-slide Microsoft PowerPoint presentation with detailed speaker notes and/or audio narration to explain the slides.
Present the following information from your research:
- Explain how studying this population to understand more about their culture upholds the multicultural counseling competencies.
- Summarize the social structure, beliefs, values, and spoken language of your chosen population.
- Describe the educational, professional, and social struggles facing your chosen population.
- Explain mental health risk factors common among your chosen population.
- Describe preferred methods for this population to seek help for their mental health problems.
- Describe common issues with public policy and advocacy for the accessibility of mental health services for this population.
- Describe the counseling approach and interventions that best fit the needs of this population.
- Summarize strategies for advocating for this population that you could take in your role as their counselor.
- Explain how advocating for your clients by eliminating barriers and reducing intentional and unintentional oppression and discrimination fulfills your social justice role as a counselor.
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