About Culture-Centered Practices

Worldviews shape how different cultural groups define mental health, substance use and related disorders.

The Influence of Worldviews

Culture-centered practices are practices that are grounded in the worldview of the population of focus. A worldview is an overall shared perspective through which members of a group see and interpret the world. Worldviews differ among subcultures, subgroups, and other populations in the United States and may be defined by language, social practices, geography, or sovereign nation status. Worldviews also shape how different cultural groups define mental health, substance use and related disorders.

Differences in worldviews are often not addressed, or not addressed properly, in behavioral healthcare systems. This can lead to poor access, less availability, services that do not fit the individual, and poor behavioral health outcomes. 

Why Culture-Centered Practices?

Many communities have used culture-centered practices to promote wellness, aid recovery, and reduce risks. These practices are informed and guided by the cultural beliefs, customary helping rituals, and social structures that originate in that population. For example, in tribal communities, practices grounded in local culture not only address the cultural self in healing but also integrate the reality of historical and current cultural experiences in treatment and recovery. Culture-centered practices can contribute to improved outcomes in treatment and recovery.

This Emerging Evidence section highlights work showing that participation in integrative, culture-centered, community-based activities can reduce risk and improve wellness.

 

Last Updated: 06/15/2017