the present paper reflects on the development of culturally-sensitive mental health services and training of mental health professionals. national and international ethnic diversity is a growing reality, which demands different resources from health services toward the promotion of individuals’ global well-being. the specificities of these populations have led to an underutilization rate of counselling services, which are not adjusted in terms of their intercultural competence. we report an action-research project on access of child mental health care by immigrants, developed in switzerland, as well as the primary goals of a research project toward the development of culturally-sensitive mental health services in portugal. we discuss the importance of participative research, which involves and gives voice to ethnic minority groups and to their experiences, needs and perceived barriers in the access to support to their psychological well-being. finally, we defend the importance of intercultural competence training of clinicians, not as a need of the minorities, but of all individuals in an intercultural society.