Multicultural Mission Statement

Our mission is to create an atmosphere based on dignity, inclusiveness, and self-awareness that is focused on individual healing and wellness for all, respective of cultural identity.


People holding hands around the world

The University of West Florida’s Counseling & Psychological Services is committed to promoting and enhancing the well-being of all students. We are devoted to affirming and honoring the uniqueness of our multicultural student body.

We utilize multiple levels of training to maintain our Awareness, Skills, and Knowledge (A.S.K.) of the best practices in fulfilling our role at The University of West Florida. Our goal is to provide our services within appropriate cultural context including but not limited to the following: age, gender, race/ethnicity, ability/disability, nationality, sexual orientation/identity, socioeconomic status, belief systems/religion/spirituality, and/or political beliefs.


Mental Health and Diversity


Counseling & Psychological Services' approach to culturally competent mental health care

Awareness

Members of Counseling & Psychological Services practice healthy self awareness related to attitudes, beliefs, biases, and assumptions regarding our own cultural heritage. We believe that by consciously identifying and exploring our heritage we will broaden our ability to be sensitive to the needs of those who are culturally different.

Skills

Members of Counseling & Psychological Services engage in various levels of professional development, such as conference attendance, experiential exercises, and continuing education to attain essential training related to employing appropriate and sensitive techniques including assessments, interventions, and evaluations to provide culturally competent services. Through appropriate licensure, professional consultation, and ethical practice, Counseling & Psychological Services aspires to meet the needs of a diverse student body with relevant, valid, and reliable clinical proficiency.

Knowledge

Members of Counseling & Psychological Services utilize current and valid information regarding the diversity of individuals and groups: broadly defined including but not limited to age, gender, race/ethnicity, ability/disability, nationality, sexual orientation/identity, socioeconomic status, belief systems/religion/spirituality, and/or political beliefs.

Additionally, we are active in addressing systemic forces such as prejudice, discrimination, and oppression that hinder both optimal student development and an affirming campus community. Based on our commitment to affirming the cultural diversity of all students, we are dedicated to:

  • Conducting culturally informed individual, couples, and group counseling
  • Providing diversity-affirmative training/supervision
  • Integrating cultural content into education/outreach programs
  • Offering diversity-affirmative psychoeducational information
  • Partnering with campus departments and personnel devoted to issues of diversity
  • Exploring the impact of our own cultural values, beliefs, perspectives, and attitudes
  • Engaging in continual professional development on issues of diversity

Arrendondo, P. (1999). Multicultural counseling competencies as Tools to address oppression and racism. Journal of Counseling and Development, 77, (1), 102.

Pederson, P.B. (2002). The making of culturally competent counselor. In W.J. Lonner, D.L. Dinnel, S. A. Hayes, & D. N. Sattler (Eds.), Online Readings in Psychology and Culture (Unit 10, Chapter 2), (http://www.wwu.edu/~culture). Center for Cross Cultural Research, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington USA.

Stuart, R. B. (2004). Twelve Suggestions for Achieving Multicultural Competence. Professional psychology: Research and practice, 35, (1), 3-9.

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