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The Looking Beyond Series: Mental Health Equity Fireside Chats

An APA lecture series that examines strategies and opportunities to improve the mental health of historically marginalized and minoritized communities.

Our Next Event

Maternal Mental Health: Honoring Traditions: Integrating Cultural Humility into Mental Health Care for American Indian & Alaska Native Birthing Persons

  •  Thursday, June 20
  •  7:00 - 8:00 p.m. EST

Register Today

American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) birthing people face significant challenges related to mental health during pregnancy compared to other racial/ethnic groups. These disparities are influenced by factors such as limited access to healthcare, historical trauma, and socioeconomic disadvantages. In this webinar, panelists will discuss comprehensive approaches to delivering culturally sensitive care to AI/AN pregnant and parenting people including ways to improve access to prenatal care and establishing support services to improve outcomes for AI/AN birthing people and their babies.

Learning Objectives

  • Enhance understanding of healthcare disparities experienced by pregnant American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) individuals.
  • Examine the prevalence and consequences of perinatal mental health disorders on the health outcomes of AI/AN mothers and newborns.
  • Emphasize the significance of partnerships among healthcare professionals, tribal communities, and stakeholders in managing maternal mental health in pregnancy among AI/AN populations.
  • Equip healthcare providers with resources and strategies to enhance care for AI/AN pregnant individuals with perinatal mental health conditions.

The following planner (Dr. Regina James) and faculty have no relevant financial relationships to disclose:


Ted Mala, M.D., M.P.H.
Ted Mala, M.D., M.P.H., Physician and Director of Tribal Relations/Retired at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage
Ahna Red Fox
Ahna Red Fox, Founder & Full Spectrum Indigenous Birth Worker
Mary Hasbah Roessel, M.D.
Mary Hasbah Roessel, M.D., Distinguished Life Fellow of the A.P.A. and practicing in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the Santa Fe Indian Health Center

Upcoming Events

Title Date Time
Justice Involvement in Substance Use Disorder Treatment for Marginalized Pregnant and Parenting People: Working Toward a Better Approach July 31, 2024 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Exploring the Impact of Weathering on Maternal Mental Health: Can Stress be Inherited? August 28, 2024 Noon - 1:00 p.m.

Series Archives

The Moynihan Report Revisited: Exploring its Impact on Psychiatric Practice

April 30, 2024

Join the APA's Division of Diversity and Health Equity for this discussion on The Moynihan Report moderated by Walter Wilson Jr., the chair of the Council on Minority Mental Health and Health Disparities.

Navigating the Virtual Crisis: Enhancing Awareness of Technology Addiction and its Impact on Suicidality in Youth of Color

April 3, 2024

With the rise of digital technologies, adolescents are increasingly vulnerable to the detrimental effects of excessive screen time, cyberbullying, social media comparisons, and online harassment, which can significantly contribute to suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Communities of color are particularly vulnerable to suicide risk factors rooted in disparities in the social determinants of mental health and systemic and cultural vulnerabilities. Panelists will discuss technology addiction and suicidality in minoritized youth, exploring risk factors, protective factors, assessment strategies, and evidence-based interventions. Participants will gain insights into providing comprehensive care to prevent and address suicidality related to technology addiction in youth.

Addressing Alcohol & Substance Use Disorder in the Hispanic Community Unpacking Sociocultural Risk and Resilience

February 8, 2024

Substance use rates for Latinos/Hispanics mirror the general population, although certain factors increase risk for addiction to certain substances. According to the 2021 NSDUH, 7.2 million Hispanic or Latino adults, aged 12 and over, had a past year substance use disorder. Approximately 7.2% of Hispanic/Latino adults, aged 18 years and older, and a co-occurring substance use disorder (SUD) and mental illness in the past year.

Studies examining the relationship between substance use and culture in the Hispanic community have determined several factors contribute to drug and alcohol addiction, including cultural values, language, place of birth, acculturation and socio-demographics. Barriers exist for Latinos/as that exacerbate treatment disparities whether systemic such as economic or cultural such as stigma. Latinos/as also have poorer outcomes in substance abuse treatment programs. This panel will explore both the risk and resilience within this diverse group.

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The Unequal Impact of the Opioid Epidemic in the African American Community: Insights for Psychiatrists

December 7, 2023

African Americans are experiencing rising opioid-related overdoses, with the third highest opioid-related overdose death rate compared to other race/ethnicities, largely driven by synthetic fentanyl and heroin. Disparities and inequities are exacerbating the public health crisis in African American communities as evidenced by the higher rate of overdose deaths in U.S. counties with greater income inequality. This panel will unpack the complexities of the unequal impact of opioids in the African American community and evaluate the role of implicit bias, stigmatization, and cultural stereotypes in shaping perceptions, diagnoses, and treatment approaches for opioid use disorder in African American patients.

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The Intersection of Race, Ethnicity and Sexual Orientation Status on the Prevalence of Vaping Among Minoritized Youth

September 28, 2023

Vaping and e-cigarette use has become a growing public health concern, with data demonstrating increased risk of cigarette initiation and use of cannabis, alcohol and other substances among adolescents who vape. Intersectionality impacts risk in complex ways for racial/ethnic and sexual minorities. Emerging data is exploring the extension of this risk, and the foundational structural discrimination including violence and victimization that leads to increased vaping among youth of color, particularly those identifying as sexual minorities. This panel will examine data demonstrating disparities in vaping among adolescents with dual (or more) marginalized identities, its implications for mental healthcare, and discuss the role psychiatry can play in vaping control and prevention initiatives to address inequities driven by intersectional vulnerabilities.

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Postpartum Psychosis: Are Birthing People of Color Falling Through the Treatment Gap?

August 29, 2023

Postpartum psychosis is rare and affects around 2 in 1000 postpartum-birthing individuals; however, researchers suspect that with the large number of individuals giving birth every year, PP may impact more birthing individuals than the number reflected in the available data. Although there is no available data on the prevalence of PP by race and ethnicity, it has been established that birthing people of color experience higher rates of unreported and untreated maternal health conditions; this disparity may place birthing people of color at a higher risk of delayed diagnosis and treatment for PP. Moreover, because of the acute presentation of PP, the severity, and the increased risk of infanticide and maternal suicide, it is critically important that providers recognize the signs and symptoms early, identify those at risk of developing PP, and make the appropriate treatment referrals. In this webinar, the panelist will share lived experiences of PP and stories of survival, strategies for recognizing the signs and symptoms early, and treatment recommendations.

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Moore Equity in Mental Health Round Table: "Birth Related Maternal Death: The Mental Health Impact on Families"

July 5, 2023

The current maternal health crisis in the United States disproportionately impacts non-Hispanic Black and Indigenous birthing people, who are three to four times more likely to experience birth-related deaths and Severe Maternal Morbidity (SMM). This roundtable discussion will focus on the impact of maternal deaths on surviving family members and the unmet mental health needs of those who experience SMM. The panelist will explore strategies to address maternal mental health care access disparities and discuss ways front-line reproductive health providers can facilitate mental health services referrals to better support families.

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Addressing Gaps in Comprehensive Treatment for Birthing people of Color with Comorbid SUD: Implementing a Targeted Approach

June 28, 2023

Hispanic and African American women generally have lower mental health and substance use treatment utilization; in addition, pregnant Hispanic and Black women who enter SUD treatment report higher rates of unmet mental health support than their white counterparts. Racism and discrimination within healthcare systems remain a persistent barrier to accessing treatment among minoritized women with SUD. With the gaps in comprehensive treatment within these populations, providers should find more targeted approaches that include culturally appropriate screening and treatment to reduce the care disparity and access to treatment. In this webinar, the panelist will discuss challenges around providing care to pregnant individuals with co-occurring SUDs and mental illness and review evidence-based harm reduction strategies and best practices for treating pregnant and nursing parents.

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Birthing People of Color Who May Be Reluctant to Start Psycho-pharmacological Treatment: How to Navigate This Challenge.

May 31, 2023

Depression and anxiety are common complications during the perinatal period and often occur comorbidly during pregnancy. It is, therefore, critical that providers understand the challenges, available treatment options and are prepared to discuss the risk associated with pharmacological treatment interventions with their diverse patient population. The panelist for this webinar will review the current treatment guidelines for birthing individuals and discuss best practices for managing mental illness during pregnancy.

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Current Maternal Mental Health Screening Tools: Are they Culturally Appropriate?

May 31, 2023

In some cultures, birthing people may express emotional distress as somatic complaints. However, validated screening tools like the Edinburg Postnatal Depression Scale and the Patient Health Questionnaire, for example, do not contain questions that can assess the physical presence of psychological distress. The panelist will discuss how culture impacts patients' perceptions of maternal mental, help-seeking behaviors, and retention to care among ethnically diverse birthing people. In addition, the panelist will explore the cultural applicability of the available validated screening tools for screening for PMADs and offer recommendations on how providers can incorporate culturally competent care as part of the PMAD screening process.

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LGBTQ+ Mental Health: Challenges, Advocacy, and Clinical Considerations for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Persons

March 1, 2023

Panelists will discuss mental health inequities affecting transgender and nonbinary people and provide strategies for incorporating evidence-based gender-affirming mental health care into clinical psychiatric practice. In addition, panelists will provide an introduction to current topics relevant to the mental health of transgender and nonbinary people and raise awareness of resources to support psychiatrists in advocating for this population.

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Clinician Bias and Disparities in the Mental Health Treatment Continuum

February 21, 2023

Bias in clinical practice is a persistent cause of healthcare disparities, compounding the vulnerabilities of historically excluded populations such as those comprising minority ethnic populations, immigrants, the poor, low health-literacy individuals, sexual minorities, children, women, the elderly, the mentally ill, the overweight and the disabled. Implicit or unconscious provider biases impact the mental health treatment continuum at various stages including patient–provider interactions, treatment decisions, patient treatment adherence, and patient health outcomes. This webinar session will provide an analysis of the individual and institutional biases that manifest in mental health care and address these with cognitive and other strategies to mitigate their impact on patient populations.

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The Collaborative Care Model to Optimize Patient Outcomes in Mental Health Care

January 19, 2023

Systems-based integrated approaches, such as the Collaborative Care Model (CCM) have the potential to address disparities that stem from a lack of equal access to effective care. The Collaborative Care Model holds promise for closing the mental health treatment and outcome gap for at-risk populations, including low-income, racial and ethnic minorities, and rural and geriatric groups. Research has demonstrated the efficacy and effectiveness of CCM for the treatment of depression and anxiety, as well as improvement of treatment initiation, quality of care received and health outcomes for diverse populations. Panelists will describe the principles and evidence-based results of the Collaborative Care Model through a mental health equity lens.

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Climate Change-Driven Mental Health Inequities

December 13, 2022

Inequality, climate-related disasters and ecological destruction, and adverse mental health outcomes are inextricably linked. Populations vulnerable to climate change-related impacts such as older adults, children, pregnant women, individuals experiencing homelessness, persons with behavioral health conditions, people with lower incomes, individuals with limited English proficiency, migrants or refugees, communities of color, and tribes and indigenous peoples are at a heightened risk of related negative psychosocial effects. Panelists will analyze the contributing factors to the compounded vulnerability of at-risk groups and address strategies for mobilizing climate justice and resilience.

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Disentangling Race and Place and Their Implications on Mental Health Disparities

April 20, 2022

According to the Brookings Institution (2020), “prior to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, nearly one in three Hispanic Americans and one in five Black Americans were uninsured, compared to about one in eight white Americans.” Mental health inequities and the resulting disparities amongst our diverse communities persist for a myriad of reasons, such as access to high-quality patient care, social and behavioral factors, and social policy. The panelists will tackle the issue of race in mental health care and the necessity for evidence-based research frameworks as avenues for removing inequities and barriers in mental health. This discussion will use an interdisciplinary approach through a medical, public health and social epidemiological lens.

Exploring the Role of Genomics in Ameliorating Health Inequities

March 16, 2022

Join us for the upcoming webinar, Exploring the Role of Genomics in Ameliorating Health Inequities on Wednesday, March 16 at 7:00pm ET. Mental health equity in the context of genomics requires an understanding of how biology influences disease and how disease is influenced by biological and non-biological determinants of health (i.e., social determinants of health) in all populations. Successful implementation of genomic medicine will mean that all populations have equal, effective, and affordable access to genomic medicine and that diagnosis, prevention, and treatment strategies can target the bases of mental illness without bias for or against any group.

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123 Years Since W.E.B. Du Bois' Case Study…Social Determinants of Health Inequities Continue

February 24, 2022

Join us for the upcoming webinar, 123 Years Since W.E.B. Du Bois' Case Study…Social Determinants of Health Inequities Continue on Thursday, February 24 at 7:00pm ET. Panelists will first set the stage by underscoring how the social determinants of health impact the mental health of diverse communities, and then move this discussion towards “next steps.” What we need to do to ensure that SDOH are taken into consideration in the mental health arena. This discussion will use an interdisciplinary approach by incorporating a medical, public health and social epidemiological lens to the discussion.

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The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Mental Health of Indigenous Communities

November 30, 2021

Panelists will examine strategies and opportunities to improve the mental health of our Indigenous people during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The panelists will discuss the concerns of the communities and highlight solutions incorporating cultural humility and respect. In addition, they will raise awareness of other unique pandemic stressors facing the Indigenous communities.

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Mental Health of Latinas/os

October 4, 2021

Panelists will examine strategies and opportunities to improve the mental health of Latinas/os during and post pandemic and will raise awareness of the additional pandemic stressors facing this community such as unemployment, insurance benefits inequities, and social isolation.

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The Mental Health of Asian-American and Pacific Islanders: Coalition-Building and Support During the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Rise of Xenophobia

May 17, 2021

Join APA for a webinar that will examine strategies and opportunities to improve the mental health of Asian-American and Pacific Islanders during the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of xenophobia. Prominent leaders in their respective fields will discuss policies, data, coalition-building, and resources to support and improve the safety and mental health of Asian-American and Pacific Islanders.

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The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Mental Health of African Americans

April 8, 2021

Join APA for a two-part webinar series that will examine strategies and opportunities to improve the mental health of African Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, while also raising awareness and building trust on the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine. Prominent leaders in their respective fields will discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of African Americans.

Part One, Open to the General Public

View Part One Recording

Part Two, Member Log-In Required

View Part Two Recording

  •  April 30, 2024
  •  6:45 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. EST
  •  1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits

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