The Reducing Disparities Project was recently awarded to the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities and it is sponsored by the California Department of Mental Health in response to RFP 09-79055-00, Strategic Planning Workgroups for Reducing Disparities Project. The project will be implemented through a partnership between the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities and the Latino Behavioral Health Institute. The project’s main goal is to produce a community-defined, strength-based culturally and linguistically appropriate report on reducing disparities in mental health services for Latinos.
Using an evidence-based methodology for strategic planning by stakeholder communities, the project will identify and engage a diverse range of Latino stakeholder representatives at the statewide and regional levels. Stakeholders will include consumers, providers, public agencies, and representatives of community interests, and will have diversity in terms of gender, age, mental health issues, and country of origin. The project will establish a statewide “Concilio” that will plan and oversee the project. The Concilio will establish four geographic workgroups in the Superior California region, the Southern California region, the San Francisco Bay Area region, and the Central Valley region. The role of the regional workgroups will be to propose specific community-defined, strength-based strategies for reducing disparities in mental health services for Latinos in the region. The strategies will be assembled into a final report by the project team, which will be reviewed and approved by the Concilio. Regional meetings of the workgroups will include data collection and analysis and public workshops. In order to ensure that consumers, family members, promotoras, health professionals, community advocates, and other interested members of the community may contribute to the Reducing Disparities process, Spanish-language workshops will be held in each of the four planning regions. Participants will be invited to present information, data, ideas, and responses based on their experience and knowledge of the Latino population. These sessions will utilize simultaneous translation equipment and certified interpreters. Following a collaborative, consensus-building process of analysis and priority-setting based on the regional workgroup reports and reviewed by the Concilio, our collaborative will develop a strategic plan. The strategic plan will be inclusive of the recommendations from the Latino community and will identify community defined promising practices, models/templates, and/or other resources/approaches helpful for county program planners, practitioners, and policy makers in designing programs to better address the health and mental health needs of the Latino communities and work towards the reduction of disparities.