DMHAS: Multicultural Affairs

Office of Multicultural Healthcare Equality (OMHE)
Ellen Boynton, Director (860) 418-6806
The Office of Multicultural Healthcare Equality (OMHE) functions to enhance the delivery of DMHAS services for mental health and substance use disorders in a way that acknowledges the impact of individual differences on client treatment, differences such as race, ethnic or cultural background, age, gender, sexual orientation, and physical or mental status. 

The goal of the Office of Multicultural Healthcare Equality is to assure that cultural competence is an integral quality of all services that DMHAS provides for people of every ethnic/cultural group.

Office of Multicultural Healthcare Equality Staff

Ellen Boynton, Director, (860) 418-6806

Sandra Kamens, Project Coordinator (860) 418-6956

Elizabeth Flanagan, Associate Research Scientist (203) 764-7592

Neiima Edwards, PACCT Intern Coordinator, (860) 418-6618

410 Capitol Avenue. 4th Flr., MS14 OMHE
P.O. Box 341431
Hartford, Ct 06134
Office Fax (860) 418-6792

 The Multicultural Training

The DMHAS/OMHE multicultural training recruits 35 participants annually for 21 full days of multicultural training over a ten month period. The students must produce a product which is usually a culturally competent service project for their area of service which can be implemented and replicated in other settings and regions. The persons seek personal awareness of their own culture not only in the class encounter with a diverse body of students but also by means of a personal heritage ethnographic search which is reported to the plenary class. Journals recording new cultural experiences are prepared and submitted for study by training staff.

The 21 day Multicultural training curriculum addresses dealing with clinical issues in the following areas:

  1. Orientation of the class to the course with cultural self-assessment pre-survey

  2. When cultures meet. An opportunity to share and learn about the diverse composition of the class.

  3. What is culture? What is Ethnicity? Cultural parameters.

  4. What is worldview? An in depth experience of how individuals perceive differences.

  5. Communication Styles. An important step toward cultural competence.

  6. Ethnic/Cultural Identity Development

  7. Program Development that incorporates cultural issues.

  8. Europeans Americans. Ethnicities. Cultures. History of immigration and oppression.

  9. African Origin. From Africa to slavery to modern reality of challenges today.

  10. Latinos/Hispanic cultures.

  11. Native Americans

  12. Asian Americans

  13. Jewish Issues in Multiculturalism

  14. Gay/Lesbian/Transgender/BI-sexual and Gender Issues

  15. Psycho-educational groups

  16. Racism/Oppression

  17. History/Pathology and Healing

  18. Development of Protective Mechanisms Against Racism

  19. Multicultural Ethics in behavioral health settings.

  20. Projects

  21. Ethnographies


History of PACCT
PACCT is a recruitment and training program funded through the State of CT Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services and is an important workforce development effort.

To provide the substance abuse agencies that serve the Criminal Justice population a pool of qualified addiction counselor candidates who represent our underserved populations.


  • Tuition free training applicable to the Connecticut substance abuse counselor certification process.

  • Assist in initiating a career in counseling persons with addictions

  • Clinical practicum placements are offered.

 The Multi-Cultural Leadership Institute, Inc. (MLI)

Executive Director: Tamara L. Petro, M.P.H.
127 Washington Ave.
2nd Floor-East Building
North Haven, CT 06473
Tel.: (203) 691-1486  Fax: (203) 691-5674
Email: or general:

The Multicultural Leadership Institute, Inc. (MLI) is a private, non-profit 501(c) (3) corporation that was established in 1997. Our Mission is to provide leadership for positive social change through implementing and coordinating multicultural and diversity awareness, education, advocacy, and research programs.

MLI was first established in 1997, out of a response to a community need “to address the issues of need, accessibility and appropriateness of substance abuse treatment, intervention, and prevention services for ethnic and minority individuals and groups in Connecticut.” Since our founding, the State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) has funded MLI to conduct its multicultural and diversity related prevention services that support DMHAS Prevention and Treatment services, programs and initiatives. We are considered by DMHAS to be a primary “Resource Link” for building the capacity of Prevention-oriented, priority programs in DMHAS-supported communities across Connecticut. We also co-sponsor the Project on Addictions Cultural Competency (PACCT) Training program, along with the DMHAS-Office of Multicultural Healthcare Equity, as part of our federal SAMHSA- Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant activities.

The Multicultural Leadership Institute, Inc.
127 Washington Ave., East Building, 2nd Floor
North Haven, CT 06473
Ph: (203) 691-1486
Fax: (203) 691-5674
Website:   Email:

Content Last Modified on 8/17/2015 2:40:09 PM