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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Department of Health and Human Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

Last Updated: 6/22/2012

SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance,
Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with
Mental Health (ADS Center)


Engaging the Community with the Campaign for Mental Health Recovery’s Multicultural Resources

Recovery encompasses an individual’s whole life, including mind, body, spirit, and community. Recovery embraces all aspects of living life, including housing, employment, education, health and mental health, social networks, community participation, and services and supports as determined by the person.1 Additionally, culture plays a play pivotal role in mental health, mental illness, and mental health services.2   Cultural backgrounds and identities impact attitudes, perceptions and behavior related to mental health. Culture influences what concerns a person brings to the recovery process, what language is used to express those concerns, and what coping styles are adopted. Culture also influences patterns of help-seeking including whether someone starts with a primary care doctor, a mental health program, or a minister, spiritual advisor, or a community elder. Finally, culture affects how much stigma someone attaches to mental health problems, and how much trust is placed in the hands of providers.3

Providing culturally relevant materials for use in communities across the Nation can enable people to begin to address the topic of mental health in a culturally appropriate manner. Mental health professionals and others in the community can use the Campaign for  Mental Health Recovery materials developed for the multicultural phase to open the lines of communication between the professionals and the four distinct multicultural audiences that materials are being developed for; Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Chinese Americans, and Native Americans.

1, 2 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2001). Mental Health: Culture, Race and Ethnicity – A Supplement to Mental Health; A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services. Last accessed October 8, 2009,

3 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services . (2003). Illness Management and Recovery- Implementation Resource Kit: Statement on Cultural Competence. Rockville, MD:  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services. Last accessed October 8, 2009,

This webcast will:

  • Provide a brief overview of why culture matters in mental health.
  • Provide a brief overview of the multicultural phase of the CMHR.
  • Describe the partnership with the Stay Strong Foundation and activities.
  • Provide an overview of the variety of materials being developed for each multicultural group.
  • Provide tips on how the materials can be used with each cultural group in local communities.

To access the Webcast please click on the following link;  

To access the PowerPoint presentation used in the Webcast please download one of the following files:

The Presenters

Rowena Tse 
Campaign Director
The Advertising Council

Rowena Tse is Campaign Director at The Advertising Council.  In this position, she manages the day-to-day development of several national public service advertising campaigns for private non-profit and federal government agency sponsors, including SAMHSA’s Campaign for Mental Health Recovery.   Prior to joining the Ad Council in April 2008, Ms. Tse spent seven years in account management at advertising agencies Draft and Ogilvy and Mather in New York City, working primarily on issue-related campaigns.  Her past experience includes developing advertising for the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, U.S. 2010 Census and the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. Ms. Tse holds a B.S. in Marketing and Information Systems from New York University, and is currently pursuing a M.S. in Strategic Communications, with a concentration in non-profit communications, at Columbia University.  A native of Hong Kong, Ms. Tse currently resides in New York City.

Terri Williams
Author, Advocate
Stay Strong Foundation

Terrie M. Williams—a renowned public relations professional, a prolific author, and an advocate for youth and those suffering from mental illness—is also a “woman on fire” who is dedicated to educating and engaging  audiences in communities across the nation. She is head of The Terrie Williams Agency, recognized as one of the most successful PR firms in the country, and is the author of four best-selling books. She is also the co-founder of The Stay Strong Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports youth. Her latest publication, Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting, reveals Terrie’s personal struggle with depression, and looks at the impact this disease has had on the African American community. The public response generated by Black Pain has led to the creation of a national mental health advocacy campaign, “Healing Starts With Us” (an initiative of The Stay Strong Foundation). 

 Terrie has now partnered with SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) and the Ad Council, and is serving as co-executive producer for a national public service announcement campaign targeting mental health awareness.

MaJosé Carrasco
NAMI Multicultural Action Center

MaJosé Carrasco, M.P.A. is the director of the Multicultural Action Center (MAC) at NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, where she is responsible for NAMI’s efforts to raise awareness and address disparities in mental healthcare access for diverse communities. Ms. Carrasco is co-author, with Dr. Annelle Primm of the American Psychiatric Association, of In Living Color: Depression Treatment in Primary Care Settings, a 3-hour education program for primary healthcare providers.  Additionally, she has co-authored several multicultural outreach guides and reports. In addition to her work at NAMI, Ms. Carrasco also serves on the board of directors for the Latino Behavioral Health Institute, the Steward Group of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the External Workgroup of the Center for Mental Health Services' (CMHS) Eliminating Mental Health Disparities, and the advisory Board of the National Resource Center for Hispanic Mental Health. Ms. Carrasco earned a B.A. in political science from Truman State University in Missouri and a Masters in Public Administration/Nonprofit Management from George Mason University in Virginia.

For additional information on the Campaign for Mental Health Recovery, contact the Campaign Liaison:

Ruth Montag
Telephone: 240-744-7062

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This Web site was developed under contract with the Office of Consumer Affairs in SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. The views, opinions, and content provided on this Web site do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or HHS. The resources listed in this Web site are not all-inclusive and inclusion on this Web site does not constitute an endorsement by SAMHSA or HHS.