International Journal of Mental Health & PsychiatryISSN: 2471-4372

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Bilingualism and Biculturalism in the Clinical Setting

It is estimated that by the year 2050, Latinos will make up half of the nation’s population. The rise of immigrants over the last decade has resulted in a greater need for bilingualism and biculturalism in the clinical setting. Medical and mental health practitioners are now in the spotlight to meet the needs of the growing clientele. As a result of the growing Latino population, psychologists can now expect more Spanish-speaking patients in their waiting rooms. Clinicians or agencies not providing therapeutic services in the patient’s primary language are violating one of the primary ethical standards: beneficence and nonmaleficence. Whether clinicians in private practice agree or not, they have an ethical and professional responsibility to abide by standards governed by the profession. However, too many clinicians in private practice, outpatient mental health clinics, large for profit and nonprofit settings, and HMOs do not abide by this standard.

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