Critical Populations

Bureau of Critical Populations

This bureau represents the mental health and addiction needs of individuals and groups who are unserved or underserved by the State’s public mental health and addiction services system.

Critical populations are individuals or groups that are linked together by common factors such as poverty, disability, lack of or poor insurance, lack of accessibility to the mental health and addiction care system, mobility, etc. Populations that are disproportionately affected in the mental health and addiction system include, but are not limited to: African-American, Hispanics/Latino, Asian-Americans, Native-Americans, Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders, persons who are homeless, older adults, persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, persons with disabilities, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning (LGBTQ), migrants and persons with HIV/AIDS. DMHA continues to expand its ongoing network of relationships among consumers, family members, providers, community organizations, advocates, agencies and concerned citizens locally and nationally in order to enhance participation in DMHA programs, goals and objectives.

Ongoing Activities Addressing the Needs of Critical Populations

Cultural Competency Project: The goal of the Cultural Competency Enhancement Project (CCEP) is to provide training services and technical assistance for Community Mental Health Centers and Addiction providers throughout Indiana. The training is designed to improve organizational effectiveness and efficiency in providing culturally competent services. The project also hosts an annual Statewide Cultural Competency Conference. This program has been in existence since 1996 and continues to move forward as it addresses a major priority of DMHA. DMHA has contracted with Indiana University School of Nursing at IUPUI to provide online-based (webinars) cultural competency training to behavioral healthcare providers throughout Indiana.

HIV Statewide Awareness Program: The Bureau for Critical Populations coordinates the annual HIV Statewide Awareness program. This program is sponsored through a collaborative effort among Family and Social Services Administration/Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Indiana Minority Health Coalition, Indiana State Department of Health, State and local agencies and a number of community organizations. The purpose of this annual event is to provide an opportunity to educate the public about prevention and early detection of HIV/AIDS. The targeted audience of individuals and groups greatly impacted by HIV/AIDS include minorities, youth and women. Past keynote speakers for the program include Randall Robinson (author, humanitarian and HIV/AIDS advocate), Regina King (actress and HIV/AIDS advocate), MC Lyte (singer, actress and HIV/AIDS advocate),  Caressa Cameron (Miss America 2010 and HIV/AIDS advocate), Flex Alexander (actor, writer, producer and HIV/AIDS advocate), and Jamar Rogers (NBC’s “The Voice” contestant and HIV advocate).

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services: The Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) provide services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing population throughout the state. The Critical Population Bureau is responsible for coordinating deaf services in the mental health and addiction arena statewide. The Bureau oversees the contracts for three mental health centers that provide mental health and addiction services to the deaf and /or hard of hearing population statewide. Community Mental Health Center provides deaf services in the southern area of the state. Aspire, provides deaf services in the central areas of the state and Regional Mental Health (Southlake) provides deaf services in the northern area of the state.

Boys-To-Men Mentor Program: This unique prevention and early intervention program enables State of Indiana employees to serve as role models for African-American male youth ages 6-18. As volunteers, the mentors assist in the cultivation and development of positive self-esteem and academic achievements. The mentors also work to enhance the protégés knowledge in the areas of health, conflict resolution, cultural competency, personal skills and life choices. The group meets monthly.

Partnership Programs: The Bureau for Critical Populations focuses on creating and expanding partnerships with State, local and federal agencies and community organizations to meet the mental health and addiction needs of consumers, families, groups and concerned citizens throughout Indiana. DMHA understands the need to utilize established and new resources available to address the underserved populations. DMHA has entered into partnership with a number of groups and organizations that include but not limited to: the faith-based community, Indiana Minority Health Coalition, Mental Health America Indiana, Indiana Minority Mental Health Professional Association, Inc., HIV/AIDS community, Urban League, the education arena, health and mental health agencies, community organizations (local and state), national, state and local agencies.

Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males: The mission of the Commission is to address the challenges confronting black males while trying to aid in decreasing the problems they face in the areas of criminal justice, education, employment, health, and social factors. The Commission has been in partnership with elected officials, community leaders, policy makers and the faith based community to serve black males and resolve issues in these five focus areas. The Commission meets monthly.

Indiana Migrant /Seasonal Farmworker Coalition: The mission of this Coalition is to improve the quality of life for migrant and seasonal farm workers in Indiana. Representatives from various state and local agencies throughout Indiana meet to address issues that impact migrant and seasonal farm workers. The task force meets monthly and hosts an annual statewide conference in Indianapolis.

For additional information about critical populations, please contact us!