COMBINE's Statement Regarding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
COMBINE's mission is to increase diversity, competence, and sustainability for Medicaid mental health care. COMBINE recognizes the low number of historically underrepresented people in the counseling industry. Additionally COMBINE recognizes the shortcomings in primary, secondary, university, and graduate schooling regarding the experiences, both historic and present, of marginalized people, and the impact that this collective mis-education has.
Diversity is the first of COMBINE's values. We are committed to putting resources and attention toward improving the engagement, retention and promotion of the diverse and talented counselors, therapists, social workers, peer support specialists, and psychologists that make up COMBINE.
We know that Medicaid members participate in their mental health treatment better when their provider shares some of the member's lived experience.
COMBINE recognizes that counseling professionals and Medicaid members live at social locations that are at intersections of various spectrums of diversity including race, age, gender identity, gender preference, lived experience as poor, disability, experience with the criminal justice system, immigration status, religion, country of origin, education, and politics. We recognize intersectionality, meaning people can experience more oppression when they occupy more marginal social locations.
In Colorado, over 50% of Latino and African-American people are enrolled in Medicaid. COMBINE advocates for a sustainable and diverse workforce to meet the diversity of the members in our care.
COMBINE providers have experienced the education system that leads to professional status and understands how historic inequities challenge diverse people attempting to gain education and entrée into the professional world.
COMBINE recognizes the historic and present-day struggle for the LGBTQ+ community to exercise equal rights in our society, and that this struggle is a factor in less optimal mental health.
COMBINE supports professionals of European descent and all professionals in understanding anti-racist practice, internalized bias, and systemic oppression.
We recognize that oppression takes many forms beyond basic racism, misogyny, ableism, religious chauvinism, and homophobia, from interpersonal micro-aggressions to less-visible and highly impactful structural and systemic oppression.