Cultural Considerations in Mental Health Nursing

Subject: Psychiatry
Pages: 4
Words: 838
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College


Cultural competency is essential for a nurse working with a multicultural population. The psychiatry department is particularly exposed to the influence of cultural particularities of the clients due to the active intrusion of mental health interventions into the life of an individual. Therefore, it is important to ensure the provision of culture-sensitive procedures throughout the treatment process. In this paper, a case of a theoretical patient who is 16 years old, comes from a Latino cultural background, and has a major depressive disorder. The implementation of cultural considerations at every stage of mental health care providers will be reviewed based on evidence retrieved from scholarly sources.


At the stage of a patient’s assessment, it is essential to research the specific features of the client’s culture with the aim of the following inclusion of the collected data during the treatment process. In the particular case of a Latino adolescent, the investigation of religious beliefs will be applied. Since Hispanic individuals are predominantly involved with the church, it will be necessary to establish the schedule changes in the planned interventions (Liang, Matheson, & Douglas, 2016). Also, the distribution of the influence in the family will be assessed due to the overall importance of parental involvement with children’s activities in Latino communities. In general, the assessment will be conducted with regard to the influence of the interventions on the life of the individual in the family and community.


In terms of diagnosing mental issues, it will be necessary to incorporate statistical data and research findings concerning mental health issues prevailing in the Latino population. Some of the issues that the client’s population might be at risk of include depression, acculturation stress, behavioral impairments in the form of substance abuse and violence, and others (González-Guarda, McCabe, Leblanc, De Santis, & Provencio-Vasquez, 2016). An important issue to include when diagnosing a Latino patient is the prevailing misdiagnoses “that affect youth from all racial/ethnic groups,” which are influenced by multiple informants’ contributions, including parents, child, and therapists (Liang et al., 2016, p. 1931). That is why it is necessary to incorporate culture-related data at the stage of diagnosis.


When planning the sessions with the client, the inclusion of specific needs and preferences of the client will be necessary. Due to the issue of familism prevailing in the Latino population, family schedules and plans will be addressed (González-Guarda et al., 2016). The days and times of family events and church meetings will be excluded from the schedule of mental health interventions. Moreover, since the role of parents in the life of a Hispanic teenager is very important, the needs and time of the parents will be taken into account to enable sessions with parents and family. Such an approach to planning will benefit the client and ensure the inclusion of his/her cultural considerations.


The implementation of treatment is the core of the successful recovery of a patient. However, when addressed without the consideration of cultural particularities, it might provoke additional difficulties. In order to eliminate such a threat, a nurse in a psychiatry setting needs to implement culture-sensitive interventions. The first possible procedure might be the initiation of family therapy for the treatment of a depressive disorder. Latino patients strongly believe that “parents, spouses, and adult children may play a … a central role in healthcare” (Corrigan, Torres, Lara, Sheehan, & Larson, 2017).

The second intervention that might be beneficial in the case of Hispanic patient treatment is the adoption of religious beliefs and their implementation into the sessions. Since the church is thought to be a source of spiritual health in Hispanic communities, this practice will be respectful toward the client’s cultural preferences.


In order to evaluate whether the intervention was effective for the client, a specific, measurable tool will be used. A simple symptom-related questionnaire will be given to the client prior to the initiation of treatment and after the termination of the sessions. The results of the first and the second questionnaires will be compared to retrieve the results of therapy. Similar to the stages of planning and implementation, the inclusion of family members might also be useful at the stage of evaluation. In case the results of questionnaires deem to be too subjective, the observation of family members will be used as an indicator of intervention effectiveness.


In conclusion, cultural considerations are a vital element in mental health care providers for a multicultural population. A nurse working in a psychiatry department must use sufficient evidence-based data to address the particular cultural needs of each client. In the case of a Latino adolescent suffering from depression, several cultural particularities need to be addressed. They include the overall inclination of the designated ethnicity toward depressive disorders, acculturation stress, substance abuse, and violence; these issues need to be included in diagnosing. When planning and implementing specific interventions, such issues as familism and strong religious beliefs need to be incorporated into the treatment procedures. Overall, adherence to the cultural needs of patients will benefit their health and well-being.


Corrigan, P. W., Torres, A., Lara, J. L., Sheehan, L., & Larson, J. E. (2017). Healthcare needs of Latinos with serious mental illness and the potential of peer navigators. Administration and Policy in Mental Health, 44(4), 547-557.

González-Guarda, R. M., McCabe, B. E., Leblanc, N., De Santis, J. P., & Provencio-Vasquez, E. (2016). The contribution of stress, cultural factors, and sexual identity on the substance abuse, violence, HIV, and depression syndemic among Hispanic men. Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, 22(4), 563-571.

Liang, J., Matheson, B. E., & Douglas, J. M. (2016). Mental health diagnostic considerations in racial/ethnic minority youth. Journal of child and family studies, 25(6), 1926-1940.