BHS-330: Cultural and Social Diversity in Behavioral Health

This BHS-330: Cultural and Social Diversity in Behavioral Health course explore the topics of :

  • cultural diversity
  • social justice
  •  religious
  • spiritual values

to provide a comprehensive foundation.

The aim is to provide an overarching framework for students to use as they learn about working with multicultural populations in the behavioral health field.

This BHS-330: Cultural and Social Diversity in Behavioral Health course help students learn about:

  • cultural diversity
  • cultural competency

Also the importance of

  • self-awareness
  • social justice
  •  advocacy

As a component of cultural competency, this course provides students with a blended approach to the beliefs and values associated with religion and spirituality.


Culture impacts our perceptions of health and illness, treatment options, and health-seeking behaviors such as attitudes toward preventative and curative care, provider attitudes, and healthcare system expectations.   Discussions tend to focus on the ‘Other,’ but they should also consider the culture of the mainstream, particularly that of practitioners and institutions.

There is substantial evidence that not only does culture play a significant role in how we understand health and illness, but that different cultures perceive these concepts differently as well, and that these differences can have a significant impact on how illness is managed.

One point of difference between cultures is how disease or illness is perceived as a cause or nature. This can include ideas like spirit possession, yin/yang imbalances, the ‘evil eye,’ black magic, or breaking taboos (and perceptions change with time, for instance, homosexuality, which was identified as a disorder. ( DSM-II until 1974)


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