Encompass Celebrating 1st Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Month

Encompass has dedicated April to celebrating DEI within our organization, and raise awareness for health disparities stemming from race, ethnicity, or cultural bias. Our mission of health equity for all is why we serve Santa Cruz County’s most vulnerable populations so that everyone has access to behavioral health services. Every day, we help clients who are unhoused, experiencing substance use disorders, living with mental health challenges, or have justice-related education and probation requirements. One of the key principles that sets Encompass apart from other health care organizations is our focus on Enhanced Case Management (ECM). ECM means that we view the treatment and recovery of our clients holistically, addressing their health care needs and connecting them with other services that may be beyond our scope.

According to data collected by Data Share of Santa Cruz County, over 21% of adults in Santa Cruz County have reported having delays or difficulty obtaining needed healthcare services compared to the state average of 16.5%. The data collected also suggests that Hispanic/Latinx residents face higher barriers to care (24.2%). This is higher than the county average and the rate for white, non-Hispanic residents (20%).  DEI Month is a call to action for all of us. We can work together to bridge the gap in healthcare equity and ensure everyone has the opportunity to thrive. 

As a community, we can’t let factors like someone’s background, culture, or race impact their access to resources. It’s not hard to see how socioeconomic status, homelessness, substance use disorders, or lack of education can hinder a person’s ability to live a healthy life. Thankfully, Encompass exists to help with healthcare service disparities. If you believe in our mission of health equity for all, you can help us serve our Santa Cruz community through a tax-deductible donation at encompasscs.org/donations. Thank you for your support this month and all year.