MAMH Blog: Nandy Barbosa Explains the Importance of Culturally Responsive Aging and Mental Health Services

Nandy Barbosa (MSW’23), intern for the Center for Aging & Disability Education & Research (CADER), is a bilingual homecare case manager who provides culturally responsive care to Spanish-speaking and Cape Verdean-speaking older adults at Boston Senior Home Care. In this interview with the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health (MAMH), she explains why there is such a great need for culturally responsive care and how social workers can better serve diverse populations. 

Excerpt from “Culturally Responsive Aging and Mental Health Services” originally published on the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health blog: 

“The COVID-19 pandemic brought to the forefront critical issues such as a shortage of personal care workers, home health aides, and case managers. The pandemic also highlighted the ongoing disparities individuals face in the healthcare system, which especially affects people of color.

Behavioral health workplaces and academic institutions need to cultivate and support a diverse workforce to better reflect the population served. All social and human service workers, particularly those working with culturally diverse individuals, should be trained in cultural humility, as well as behavioral health. By training staff to effectively assess and relate to those from different backgrounds, we are better equipped to address issues of mental health, substance use, social isolation, and loneliness. We also need to invest in the workforce, providing a sustainable living wage for people who care for older adults.”

Read the full article here.