This volume offers both a longitudinal and a cross-sectional perspective on involving families in the treatment of adults with severe and persistent psychiatric disorders. Mental illness is experienced, both by patients and by their families, in a historical and cultural context that varies across time, geography, personal space, and the life cycle of the illness. This sourcebook views culture in a broad sense--as a set of shared beliefs, values, behavioral norms, and practices that characterize a particular group of people who share a common identity--and examines the impact of cultural differences on mental health theory and treatment. This issue offers practice guidelines and suggestions for further research in the area of culturally competent mental health care services. This is the 77th issue of the quarterly journal New Directions for Mental Health Services.