Learn more about APA's traveling mental health disparities awareness and elimination program that involves community meetings developed in collaboration with local community leaders.

Division of Diversity and Health Equity Meetings

“On Tour” is APA’s traveling mental health disparities awareness and elimination program. It involves community meetings each developed in collaboration with local community leaders from a wide variety of disciplines and perspectives.  The meetings address community concerns about mental health disparities in diverse and underserved population groups. Each local program is customized to address specific community needs, demographics and cultural perspectives.

Highlights of past programs

Transcendence and Resilience Following Trauma
Celebrating the Triumph of the Human Spirit: The 50th Anniversary of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing, November, 2013, Birmingham, AL

Organized in collaboration with American Association of Community Psychiatrists, University of Alabama, Birmingham Center for Psychiatric Medicine, and the Alabama Psychiatric Society District Branch, this program looked back at the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and other pivotal events, which brought national and international attention to the Civil Rights Movement and the struggle of black people for freedom. The discussions focused on the capacity of communities to heal and be resilient in the aftermath of trauma and tragedy. Former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., served as the event’s keynote speaker. Other speakers included individuals who are survivors of those turbulent times who shared how they overcame trauma and transcended a past marked by hostility and racial strife. Diversity Meetings Map

Black and Blue: The State of African American Mental Health
April, 2014 / Baltimore, MD 21210

This program was presented in collaboration with Baltimore Healthy Start and Black Mental Health Alliance Inc. The aim was to bring awareness about current mental health issues in the African American community and provide information about relevant approaches and resources which can be used by mental health providers, community leaders and caregivers. Terrie Williams, a leading social worker and author of the book, Black Pain, delivered the keynote. Williams, explained that African Americans face many hardships that affect mental health, ranging from racism to inner-city violence—yet many do not seek help. A panel of social workers, counselors and consumers shared their personal experiences with various mental illness.

Mental Health of Asian Indian Americans: Issues and Culturally Appropriate Solutions
April, 2014 / Queens, NY 11355

This program was organized in collaboration with Indo-American Psychiatric Association (IAPA) and American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin – Queens and Long Island. The program focused on critical issues like stigma associated with mental health, elderly care, family conflicts, substance use, and suicide and its impact on survivors. Mental health professionals born in India or of Indian descent discussed how aspects of their culture can have a major impact on the effectiveness of psychiatric care among people who share their cultural heritage. The topics included, cultural issues in minorities like women and children, mental health in 2nd generation of Asian-Indians, information about the available community resources, collaboration with primary care practice etc.

Latino Mental Health in the Age of the Affordable Care Act
May, 2014 / New York, NY 10016

DDHE collaborated with American Society of Hispanic Psychiatrists and the New York State Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence at the New York State Psychiatric Institute to present this “On Tour” series during APA’s 2014 Annual Meeting in New York City. A poster session provided an opportunity for upcoming researchers in Latino mental health to present their work and to engage stakeholders in a discussion. A keynote speech and panel discussions focused on the impact of the Affordable Care Act for Latinos in New York State. Margarita Alegria , PhD, director of the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research, Harvard Medical School argued for a wide-ranging socioecological approach to address ethnic disparities in access to care. 

2014 Leadership Summit: mental health needs following economic disaster
June, 2014 / Detroit, MI

Inspired by previous “On Tour” programs addressing mental health concerns following natural disasters, this meeting focused on mental health needs following economic disaster. The Summit was organized by DDHE in collaboration with Community Network Services (CNS), Northeast Guidance Center and Marygrove College. The event encouraged community-wide discussions about the significance of mental health disparities, social determinants of the health and the effects of economic disaster. The program was packed with presentations from local mental health providers, educators, social workers and consumers. Many of the participating organizations pledged to implement specific actions aimed at increasing the effectiveness of mental health services within the city.


These meetings, launched in 2005 and previously call "OMNA on Tour," are a series of town-hall-style meetings to inform underserved communities about mental health disparities and their impact on overall health, economic productivity, and societal well-being. The meetings produce collaboration among stakeholder groups in developing local action plans to eliminate mental health disparities.

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Write to spatel@psych.org for more information.