- Created on December 8th, 2005
Culture Counts! That’s what the Surgeon General’s report on mental health says and that’s what Clinical Social Worker Hasan Johnson has come to know from his professional experiences as an African American mental health clinician in New Jersey. Even though more and more mental health service providers are taking steps to be more culturally competent, some mental health consumers complain that culturally oriented mental health resources still remain hard to access and find.
The main challenge most mental health consumers face after choosing to seek counseling, is actually finding a competent, trustworthy professional counselor who is a cultural, linguistic, ethnic or religious match.
According to Johnson, who is also the Founder and President of EthnicCounselors.com, the process of looking for an Ethnic Counselor can be very frustrating. He believes that people who have little success finding and connecting with culturally competent or multilingual mental health services will get frustrated and eventually stop seeking help altogether. "Getting mental health help is already tough. There’s a lot of stigma that goes along with mental health help. People of all cultural, racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds need to know where they can go to get the counseling help they need when they are facing difficult times in their lives", said Johnson. "People need service options that are easily accessible, that they are comfortable with and that work."
Unlike other counseling related websites, EthnicCounselors.com exclusively focuses on making Ethnic Counselors and counseling resources and services available to the public. The site offers customized counselor and organizational profiles, message boards, national job listings, specialized chat rooms, events listings, and a host of mental health resources and links for people who are seeking culturally, religiously, linguistically and ethnically diverse professional counselors and information. "This site is more than a directory of ethnic counselors and organizations...it’s also a dynamic online community where members can network, share information and resources and support one another as well", said Johnson.
Membership is free to the general public, non–profits and college students. Members get unlimited access to a searchable database of professional counselors and counseling organizations.
For a small monthly fee, for–profit Professional Counselors and Counseling organizations can also create a customizable profile, post and review national job listings, post and review upcoming events and use the site’s message boards, chat services, and article upload service on the website. The website is currently undergoing a makeover that will allow anyone who visits the site to search its growing database and have limited access to various public areas of the site.