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Achieve Mental Health Equity Update: Fall 2023

  • November 21, 2023
  • Diversity News and Updates

In this quarterly issue of our Diversity and Health Equity Newsletter, we bring you exciting updates, and engaging story pieces about you, our members. In our Mental Health Equity Champion spotlight Dr. Junji Takeshita, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the John A. Burns School of Medicine in Hawaii, shares many personal insights, from how he had the opportunity to start a geriatric psychiatry fellowship, to his thoughts on intergenerational approaches that can be used to improve the mental health and well-being of both older adults and their families.

We are also introducing a new section to the newsletter: Advocacy in Action, and we’ll provide a recap of APA’s activities honoring Bebe Moore Campbell’s legacy during the month of July, including roundtable discussions, one of which featured the California Surgeon General, Dr. Diana Ramos.

In addition, earlier this year we launched our four-part webinar series on maternal mental health. This fall we are aligning our Looking Beyond Webinar Series with APA’s President, Dr. Petrous Levounis platform, “Voices for Change,” which will focus on substance use and addictions in minoritized and marginalized communities.

This issue also highlights APA’s new Director of Social Determinants of Mental Health, the upcoming Mental Health Services Conference, the SAMHSA fellowship program and celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with Dr. Ruby Castilla-Puente’s insight into music and culture.

In closing, I’d like to share a quote from Dolores Clara Fernandez Huerta that simply states: We must use our lives to make the world a better place to live, not just to acquire things. That is what we are put on the earth for.

Regina James headshot

Regina James, M.D.,
Chief, Division of Diversity & Health Equity,
Deputy Medical Director,
American Psychiatric Association

Junji Takeshita headshot

Mental Health Equity Champion Spotlight: Junji Takeshita, M.D.

Dr. Junji Takeshita is the President of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry. He is a member of the Asian-American Caucus of the American Psychiatric Association and has presented nationally regarding cultural issues in psychiatry.

Bebe Moore Campbell headshot

Elevating Bebe Moore Campbell's Legacy in 2023

In July, APA embarked on its annual effort to honor the late renowned author and mental health advocate, Bebe Moore Campbell. Established by Congress in 2008, Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month is a call to action and reminder of the mental health inequities affecting communities, and in particular, young people of color.

pregnant mother meeting doctor

Summer Premier of the APA Looking Beyond Maternal Mental Health Series

This mini-series focused on maternal mental health and provided a unique learning opportunity for psychiatrists, frontline maternal health providers, and maternal mental health clinicians to help address some of the gaps in information and training.

child embracing father while mother looks on

Voices for Change: Substance Use and Addiction in Minoritized/Marginalized Communities

APA President Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A., has prioritized substance use disorders and addictive behaviors. His goal is to bring together diverse constituencies to offer education, treatment, and support to patients, families, and practitioners.

Craig Obey headshot

Advocacy in Action

We are pleased to introduce a new section of the newsletter titled “Advocacy in Action” in support of the APA Board-Approved Recommendations on Strategic Planning that included “working to end disparities in mental health care” and “advocating for health equity and policies for undoing racism and discrimination within local, state, and federal government, and health professional organizations.”

2023 Medical Student Program participants pose for a photo during the 2023 Annual Meeting

Supporting the Future of Psychiatry: SAMHSA Future Leaders in Psychiatry Program and Summer Medical Student Program Spotlight

How does APA support U.S. undergraduate student interest in psychiatry? The Future Leaders in Psychiatry Program (FLIPP) is a SAMHSA-funded initiative led by APA’s Diversity and Health Equity Department.

attendees seated during a session at an APA event

Diversity & Health Equity Focused Sessions at the 2023 Mental Health Services Conference

For attendees with a keen interest in diversity and health equity, the conference will tackle pressing issues such as the Black youth mental health crisis and the impact of psychiatry in segregated institutions on today’s practice.

Jordan White headshot

Advancing Social Determinants of Mental Health

There is an urgent need to address the complex mental health and behavioral health challenges facing the U.S. and other nations. APA has a strong commitment to supporting legislation, policies and educational initiatives that promote mental health equity.

Ruby Castilla-Puentes headshot

Culture Corner: Hispanic Heritage Month, Music, and Music Therapy

During Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15), we celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from the Caribbean, Spain, Mexico, and Central and South America. Music is central to culture and community and has well-documented therapeutic potential.

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