APA/APAF SAMHSA Minority Fellows at the 2023 Annual Meeting
By Razan Jaber, M.P.H., and Jordan Brown
During APA’s Annual Meeting in San Francisco, APA/APAF’s SAMHSA Minority Fellowship Program(MFP) fellows had an opportunity to present their work during the 2nd Annual SAMHSA MFP Poster Session. This session spotlighted the work of the top two submissions this year from Dr. Atasha Jordan and Dr. Michael Hsu. Each fellow provided a 15-minute oral presentation of their work, followed by a Q&A session next to their posters.
These promising future leaders in psychiatry showcased their innovative projects, each uniquely addressing different aspects of mental health issues faced by minoritized populations. Dr. Hsu’s work examined racial and ethnic disparities in substance use treatment access among people experiencing homelessness. Dr. Jordan focused her capstone project on a mental health first aid pilot in Philadelphia Black churches. Both fellows detailed their research findings, initiatives and data-driven insights to their audience.
Dr. Saul Levin, CEO and Medical Director of APA, was a guest at the event. His presence underscored the occasion's significance and highlighted the support that fellows receive from the highest levels of APA. In his address, Dr. Levin emphasized the fundamental role of the MFP in shaping the future of mental health services in the U.S., underlining the program's commitment to enriching the mental health workforce with culturally competent professionals.
The APA/APAF SAMHSA MFP is more than just a fellowship program; it's a change-making platform that equips psychiatrists to address inequities in mental health services. The projects presented during this session are a testament to this fact, revealing the tangible impact these fellows are making in their communities.
The fellows' projects aren't just academic exercises; they represent real-world solutions that enhance the quality of mental health services. They exemplify the potential of what culturally competent, empathetic and informed care can accomplish.