CLAS Standards for Mental/Behavioral Health

Chapter 1: Introduction to C.L.A.S.


Welcome to Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Mental/Behavioral Health

Providing services that meet the needs of all Utahns is essential, especially in mental and behavioral health settings. The Utah Department of Health Office of Health Disparities (OHD) has developed this tool to help you implement Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Service Standards otherwise known as CLAS Standards, into your organization and services. OHD has designed this tool to offer tips about how to personalize services to reach Utah’s diverse communities.

This tool is comprised of six chapters with specific information about reaching diverse communities. You will find information about CLAS Standards and why they are important, ideas that may help you and your organization implement CLAS, suggestions concerning planning and implementing language services and information about interpreting in a mental/behavioral health setting.

Information by chapter:

What are CLAS Standards?

CLAS Standards are a set of 15 service standards developed and released by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health aimed at systematically advancing health equity by delivering culturally respectful and linguistically responsive health care and services.

The HHS Office of Minority Health has developed a website, Think Cultural Health, devoted entirely to providing resources and tools to promote cultural and linguistic competency in health-related services.

Visit the OHD website to find toolkits and many other resources about understanding and implementing CLAS Standards.

It’s about the law.

Implementing CLAS will help organizations and providers comply with Title VI of The Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VI protects people of every race, color, or national origin from discrimination within programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act prohibits discrimination of race, color, or national origin, under any health program or activity.

The Office of Civil Rights provides information about providers and consumers legal rights and responsibilities in a health-related setting.