By: Dr. Susie Villalobos, National Hispanic Latino Addiction Technology Transfer Center
SAMHSA Addiction Technology Transfer
In the realm of behavioral health, access to effective
treatment and support services is crucial for individuals facing mental health
challenges or substance use disorders. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration (SAMHSA) has taken significant strides in promoting
behavioral health equity, diversity, and inclusion through its Addiction
Technology Transfer Centers (ATTC). Let’s explore the vital work of SAMHSA
ATTC, highlighting its efforts to save lives and foster a more inclusive and
equitable approach to behavioral health.
The ATTC is a national network comprising 10 regional centers, and two national centers focused on specific populations – the American Indian/Alaska Native ATTC, and the National Hispanic and Latino ATTC. Each center is tasked with disseminating evidence-based practices and fostering workforce development in the field of substance use disorder treatment and recovery.
ATTCs collaborate with various stakeholders, including treatment providers, policymakers, and community organizations, to improve the delivery and accessibility of behavioral health services. The network also recognizes that behavioral health disparities disproportionately affect marginalized communities. To address this issue, the centers prioritize initiatives aimed at achieving behavioral health equity. They focus on increasing access to care, reducing stigma, and improving cultural competence among service providers.
By equipping professionals with the necessary knowledge and skills, the ATTCs contribute to reducing disparities and ensuring that all individuals, regardless of their background, receive equitable care.
Diversity and inclusion are vital components of
effective behavioral health systems. The ATTC Network actively promotes these
principles by fostering a culturally responsive approach. The centers work to
create an environment that respects and embraces diverse perspectives,
acknowledging the unique needs and experiences of individuals from various
backgrounds. By facilitating cross-cultural understanding, the ATTCs empower
providers to deliver person-centered care that accounts for cultural,
linguistic, and other relevant factors.
National Hispanic/Latino ATTC
Recognizing that a one-size-fits-all approach may not
be effective, the National Hispanic/Latino
ATTC provides tailored technical assistance to organizations and
providers working with Hispanic/Latino populations. This assistance includes
guidance, resources, and support to help these entities develop and implement
culturally competent policies, practices, and programs. By addressing specific
needs and challenges, the National Hispanic and Latino ATTC empowers
organizations to enhance their services and improve outcomes for the
communities they serve.
Our center places a strong emphasis on engaging
community stakeholders, recognizing that collaboration and community
involvement are essential for achieving behavioral health equity. We work
closely with community-based organizations, advocacy groups, and grassroots
initiatives to understand the unique needs and challenges faced by Hispanic/Latino
communities. By fostering partnerships, our center ensures that our training
and technical assistance efforts are informed by lived experiences and
A significant barrier to accessing behavioral health services for Hispanic/Latino individuals is language. To address this issue, the National Hispanic and Latino ATTC ensures that their training and technical assistance materials are available in multiple languages. We prioritize linguistic competence, providing resources and training in Spanish and other languages commonly spoken within the Hispanic/Latino population. This commitment to language access helps bridge the communication gap and ensures that individuals can access and understand the information and support they need.
Beacon of progress
Promoting behavioral health equity, diversity, and
inclusion requires intentional efforts and dedicated initiatives. The National Hispanic
and Latino ATTC serves as a beacon of progress in this regard. Through our
comprehensive Training and Technical Assistance, we work tirelessly to empower
behavioral health professionals, organizations, and community stakeholders to
better understand and address the unique challenges faced by Hispanic/Latino
communities. By prioritizing cultural competence, linguistic access, and
community engagement, we actively contribute to the development of a more
equitable and inclusive behavioral health landscape.
These efforts serve as an inspiration for the field,
highlighting the transformative potential of training and technical assistance
in creating lasting change. The National Hispanic and Latino ATTC has proudly
served the SAMHSA network since 2019. During that short time have produced a two-day,
in-person national conference with a 98% satisfaction rate from 320
participants, a National Hispanic Latino Executive Leadership Academy with a
95% graduation rate, the Latinos Con Voz podcast series found on Apple and
Spotify, and countless toolkits, webinars, short videos and technical
The ATTC Network’s commitment to saving lives and
advancing behavioral health equity, diversity, and inclusion is commendable.
Through training, technical assistance, and collaborative partnerships, ATTCs
empower providers to offer high-quality care that meets the needs of diverse
populations. By prioritizing cultural competence and reducing disparities, our
network plays a pivotal role in creating a more inclusive and equitable
behavioral health system, where every individual can access the support, they
need to thrive.