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Council on Communications

The Council on Communications collaborates with the Office of Communications and Public Affairs and other APA departments to guide and enhance APA’s many activities in the dynamic field of communications. The council works to transform public attitudes toward psychiatry by establishing an emotional connection between the public and psychiatrists. It is the responsibility of the council to establish psychiatrists as the physician specialists with the most knowledge, training, and experience in the field of mental health and generate excitement about their ability to diagnose and treat mental illness.

Highlights of Responsibilities

  • Advise and assist the Office of Communications and Public Affairs in the development, implementation, and promotion of its advocacy initiatives and strategies, as they relate to public affairs.
  • Understand the many diverse attitudes toward psychiatry among all cultural groups, and work to create approaches to improve attitudes about psychiatry.
  • Review, advise, and cooperate with other Association components regarding issues affecting the public image of psychiatry and public understanding of mental illnesses and advocacy issues.
  • Expand the Public Affairs Network both within and outside the APA and ensure bi-directional communications.
  • Build coalitions at the local & national levels.
  • Develop recommendations for the Board and the Assembly on public affairs implications of psychiatric practices, policies, communications, and developing public attitudes and trends.
  • Identify and plan responses to "teachable moments" that occur during and after crises, news stories, and other psychiatrically relevant public situations.

Council Members

  • Isabel Norian, M.D. – Chair
  • Divya Chhabra, M.D.
  • Jessica Ann Clemons, M.D.
  • Hector Colon Rivera, M.D. (ASM)
  • Christina Girgis, M.D.
  • Jessica Gold, M.D.
  • Jessica Isom, M.D., M.P.H.
  • Peter Kramer, M.D.
  • Howard Liu, M.D.
  • Anthony Ng, M.D.
  • Lloyd Sederer, M.D.
  • Monica Taylor-Desir, M.D.

Corresponding Members

  • Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D.
  • Jamarie Geller, M.D., M.A.


  • Vasilis Pozios, M.D.


  • Evelyn Ashiofu, M.D. – Diversity Leadership Fellow
  • Ihuoma Njoku, M.D. – APA/APAF Leadership Fellow
  • Ebony Caldwell, M.D., M.P.H. – APA/APAF Leadership Fellow
  • Ann Crawford-Roberts, M.D. – APA/APAF Leadership Fellow
  • Kazandra De La Torre, M.D. – Diversity Leadership Fellow
  • Omotola Ajibade, M.D., M.P.H. – Diversity Leadership Fellow
  • Erin Fletcher, M.D., M.P.H. – Diversity Leadership Fellow
  • Tierra Simmons, M.D. – Diversity Leadership Fellow
  • Alexander El Sehamy, M.D. – Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow
  • Molly Howland, M.D. – APA/APAF Leadership Fellow
  • Samuel Jackson, M.D. – Public Psychiatry Fellow
  • Melissa Lavoie, M.D. – Public Psychiatry Fellow
  • Flavia DeSouza, M.D., M.H.S. – SAMHSA Minority Fellow
  • Shawgi Silver, M.D. – SAMHSA Minority Fellow
  • Stephanie Eng, M.D., SAMHSA Minority Fellow
  • Jack Turban, M.D. – Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow

Staff Liaison

James Carty, [email protected]

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