Wading into political waters at IPS 2017

Mental Health in All Policies: How to Partner with Lawmakers to Improve Mental Health Outcomes in Our Communities
  • Saturday, October 21, 2017
  • 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

 If you are anything like me, you struggle to make sense of the current political system in this country. As someone committed to identifying and addressing the social determinants of mental health, I am keenly aware that public policies and laws have a direct impact on the mental health of our individual patients and the populations we serve.

Now, more than ever, it is important to consider the ways psychiatrists and other mental health professionals can get involved in improving mental health outcomes for our patients and our communities. Several sessions are designed to increase our comfort and competency in advocating for our patients, and to help us take policy action to improve equity in mental health outcomes.

Workshops addressing these topics include:

  • Big Goals, Small Steps: The Psychiatrist's Journey to Advocate
  • Thursday, October 19, 2017
  • 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
  • Cultivating Physician Advocacy: Opportunities and Challenges in Training and Beyond
  • Friday, October 20, 2017
  • 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
  • Advocacy Skills for Psychiatrists: From the Clinic to the Capitol
  • Saturday, October 21, 2017
  • 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

I am particularly excited about the symposium I am chairing on Saturday, October 21st, that will serve to synthesize the concepts presented in the many excellent workshops on advocacy. Our session, Mental Health in All Policies: How to Partner with Lawmakers to Improve Mental Health Outcomes in Our Communities will walk participants through techniques for successful interactions with lawmakers and advocates, and will teach providers how to infuse mental health relevance into seemingly irrelevant policies/laws that may have hidden adverse impacts on the mental health of people and communities. New Orleans City Council Member and Mayoral Candidate LaToya Cantrell and local mental health advocate Janet Hays will be on hand to provide their personal accounts of what works in partnering with psychiatrists and other mental health professionals.

It is time to advocate for the health and well-being of our patients and our communities, in order to seek progress for everyone. As mental health professionals, in this day and age, we can no longer afford to be silent."


Ruth Shim M.D., M.P.H.,
Luke & Grace Kim Professor in Cultural Psychiatry,
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences,
University of California, Davis


Guide to IPS 2017

View the 2017 Guide for sessions, courses, new research posters, exhibitors and other general information.

View Guide