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Ann Marie T. Sullivan, M.D., Acting Commissioner
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Cultural Competence
Relevant Statutes and Standards

The Bureau of Cultural Competence is responsible for promoting effective changes in policy, procedure, and practices designed to ensure that diverse cultures are considered in all aspects of service delivery within the behavioral health system for New York State. Our objective is to provide guidance and technical assistance to help facilitate compliance with applicable federal and State laws, regulations, standards, and policies. These include:

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Leaving OMH site provides that, "No person in the United States shall, on ground of race, color or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance" (Public Law 88-352) Leaving OMH site

National Standards on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Leaving OMH site Issued by the federal Office of Minority Heatlth, the CLAS standards, may be used by providers of mental health services to make their practices more culturally and linguistically accessible. Leaving OMH site

New York State Executive Order 26 Leaving OMH site Issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo, this Executive order directs state agencies that provide direct public services to translate vital documents, including essential public documents such as forms and instructions provided to or completed by program beneficiaries or participants. The translation shall be in the six most common non-English languages spoken by individuals with limited-English proficiency in the State of New York, based on United States census data, and relevant to services offered by each of such agencies. The Executive Order contains other provisions designed to ensure that language access services are implemented in a cost effective and efficient manner. Leaving OMH site

OMH Official Policy Directive PC-502 -Cultural and Linguistic Competence: This directive, which applies to State hospitals directly operated by the Office of Mental Health, codifies the agency's commitment to developing and maintaining mental health services that are culturally competent, consumer-guided and community based. This directive is also intended to assist State operated facilities in complying with Executive Order No.26, as well as fulfulling accreditation requirements of the Joint Commission.

14 NYCRR Section 527.4:  Implements the requirement set forth in Mental Hygiene Law Section 7.09, which directs the Commissioner to promulgate regulations to address the communication needs of non-English speaking individuals seeking or receiving services in facilities licensed or operated by OMH to facilitate their access to services. 

Read OMH Regulations

Comments or questions about the information on this page can be directed to the Bureau of Cultural Competence.