CLAS Standards for Mental/Behavioral Health

Chapter 3: C.L.A.S. for Organizations


Considerations for implementing CLAS Standards in mental and behavioral health settings

Incorporating CLAS Standards into your organization can help you address the needs of diverse clients. These organizational efforts may help you and your clients get the best possible results from your services.

It’s about relationships.

As an organization, determine how to get involved in the community you serve. Consider partnering with other organizations, building relationships with community leaders, and involving community members in building programs aimed at addressing community needs. Building trust by developing relationships will go a long way toward serving any community.

Clearly identify your service population. Review any relevant data and determine who you are currently reaching and whom you would like to reach. This will help you to determine whether your services are a good fit. You can then shape processes into the best services for those you currently serve and those you will serve in the future.

It’s about planning ahead.

It will be important to plan ahead for language serves. Keep in mind that there are two main language services to consider:

Translation—the written transfer of information from one language to another.

Interpretation—the verbal transfer of spoken information from one language to another.

Use certified medical interpreters with experience in mental health settings. Remember that a child should never be used as an interpreter. Discourage friends or family from interpreting for a client. Use a qualified translator to ensure that your message is conveyed.

Since concerns about confidentiality can keep those needing mental/behavioral health care from seeking it, it is important to emphasize patient confidentiality in all mental/behavioral health services. Especially with interpreting services.

Other resources about CLAS