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Mental Health Cultural Competency Intervention Programs

IPS’ Aboriginal Mental Health Cultural Competency Intervention Programs (CCIPs)

IPS has been at the forefront of research, development and delivery of Aboriginal mental health cultural competency intervention programs (CCIPs) since 1998. The origins of this are the PhD research of Adjunct Professor Tracy Westerman, Managing Director of IPS (Westerman, 2003) which resulted in the development of the Aboriginal Mental Health Cultural Competency Test (CCP). The CCP determined that those who are ‘culturally competent’ in Aboriginal mental health practice consistently have skills across five key areas:

  1. Cultural knowledge including local knowledge, general knowledge, application of cultural knowledge and mental health specific knowledge;
  2. Skills & abilities which includes the ability to apply mainstream mental health training in a manner which is effective with Aboriginal clients;
  3. Attitudes and beliefs which is about the desire and motivation of practitioners to be ‘culturally competent’;
  4. Resources and links into the local community, and finally,
  5. Organisational cultural competency.


Participants complete the CCP online are are then provided with a comprehensive feedback report. This report not only details the individuals ‘baseline’ skills across all five areas of cultural competency but also includes analysis of what the individuals scores mean in relation to their ability to work with Aboriginal clients. It provides  specific strategies and directs participants towards resources which ensure the improvement of these areas over time.

As the CCP has been normed on over 700 people, scores can also be compared to the ‘average’ level of cultural competency in the Australian workforce and importantly, compare your organisation to others in the field.


IPS has analysed the results of 177 individuals who have participated in their CCIPs. These programs have involved three stages including:

  1. Measurement, feedback and analysis of individual and organisational cultural competencies via administration of the CCP;
  2. Design and delivery of an IPS Aboriginal mental health training program based on cultural competency results, and;
  3. Re-evaluation of cultural competencies (post-test), determination of improvement from pre-training to post-training intervention and recommendations to develop cultural competencies over time.

IPS has the only evidence base for improving the Aboriginal mental health cultural competencies of participants. This is based upon the capacity to measure cultural competence via the CCP and our unique training intervention programs which have demonstrated significant shifts in participant cultural competencies from pre to post training.

Download the results of these programs