The 2021-22 APA Presidential Task Force on Social Determinants of Mental Health was established by the APA Board of Trustees in May 2021. The Task Force will conduct its work throughout the term of the APA President, Dr. Vivian Pender, which concludes at the end of the 2022 APA Annual Meeting. At the conclusion of the Task Force, the Task Force will submit a final report of recommendations to the Board of Trustees and also to the Joint Reference Committee outlining the need for the establishment of an APA Caucus on Social Determinants of Mental Health.

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Charge of the Task Force

Develop sustainable policies and programs to bring about change in the psychiatric health care of affected populations consistent with the APA Position Statement on Mental Health Equity and the Social and Structural Determinants of Mental Health (.pdf). Build upon the outcome of the 2020-21 APA Presidential Task Force to Address Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry and existing research to produce tools for action, specifically programs and policy aimed at improving the well-being of patients, the public, and psychiatrists. The outcome may be used by clinicians, teachers, researchers, and administrators of healthcare systems and community organizations among others, to assess social determinants of mental health and improve individual and community well-being.

Task Force Membership

Dilip Jeste, M.D., Chairperson

Elie Aoun, M.D., M.R.O.


Gary Belkin, M.D.


Michael Compton, M.D.

Lisa Fortuna, M.D.

Tresha Gibbs, M.D.


Kimberly Gordon-Achebe, M.D.

Steve Koh, M.D.

Francis Lu, M.D.


Dolores Malaspina, M.D.


Allan Tasman, M.D.

Kenneth Thompson, M.D.

Sanya Virani, M.D., M.P.H.

The Task Force will identify consultants as necessary and has established four areas of focus including Clinical Practice, Policy, Public Health, and Research & Education:

  • Clinical Workgroup: Francis Lu, M.D. (Chair), Tresha Gibbs, M.D., Steve Koh, M.D.
  • Policy Workgroup: Allan Tasman, M.D. (Chair), Gary Belkin, M.D., Lisa Fortuna, M.D.
  • Public Health Workgroup: Kenneth Thompson, M.D. (Chair), Michael Compton, M.D., Sanya Virani, M.D.
  • Research & Education Workgroup: Dolores Malaspina, M.D. (Chair), Elie Aoun, M.D., Kimberly Gordon-Achebe, M.D.

APA Resources

Position Statement

Position Statement on Mental Health Equity and the Social & Structural Determinants of Mental Health (.pdf) (2018)*

Authors: Enrico G. Castillo, M.D., Helena Hansen, M.D., Evita Rocha, M.D.

*includes 50 references in the Position Statement Background Document covering the following areas:

  1. Mental Health Equity and the Social/Structural Determinants of Health
  2. Screening and Educational Resources
  3. Emerging Related Policies and Interventions

Resource Document

Resource Document on Social Determinants of Health (.pdf) (2020)*

Authors: Ole Thienhaus, M.D., M.B.A., Laura Halpin, M.D., Ph.D., Kunmi Sobowale, M.D., Robert Trestman, Ph.D., M.D.

*includes glossary of terms and 20 references in Appendix sections

American Journal of Psychiatry

Dismantling Structural Racism in Psychiatry: A Path to Mental Health Equity (2021)

Author: Ruth S. Shim, M.D., M.P.H.

From Womb to Neighborhood: A Racial Analysis of Social Determinants of Psychosis in the United States (2021)

Authors: Deidre M. Anglin, Ph.D., Sabrina Ereshefsky, Ph.D., Mallory J. Klaunig, Ph.D., Miranda A. Bridgwater, B.S., Tara A. Niendam, Ph.D., Lauren M. Ellman, Ph.D., Jordan DeVylder, Ph.D., Griffin Thayer, M.A., Khalima Bolden, Ph.D., Christie W. Musket, M.S., Rebecca E. Grattan, Ph.D., Sarah Hope Lincoln, Ph.D., Jason Schiffman, Ph.D., Emily Lipner, M.A., Peter Bachman, Ph.D., Cheryl M. Corcoran, M.D., Natalia B. Mota, M.D., Els van der Ven, Ph.D.

The Social Determinants of Mental Health (2015)

Authors: Michael T. Compton, M.D., M.P.H., Ruth S. Shim, M.D., M.P.H.

The Social Determinants of Mental Health (2015)

Author: Rahn Kennedy Bailey, M.D.

Focus: The Journal of Lifelong Learning in Psychiatry

The Social Determinants of Mental Health: Psychiatrists’ Roles in Addressing Discrimination and Food Insecurity (2020)

Authors: Ruth S. Shim, M.D., M.P.H., Michael T. Compton, M.D., M.P.H.

Psychiatric Services

COVID-19, Structural Racism, and Mental Health Inequities: Policy Implications for an Emerging Syndemic (2021)

Authors: Ruth S. Shim, M.D., M.P.H., Steven M. Starks, M.D.

Social Determinants of Mental Health As Mediators and Moderators of the Mental Health Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic (2021)

Authors: Francesco Bernardini, M.D., Luigi Attademo, M.D., Merrill Rotter, M.D., Michael T. Compton, M.D., M.P.H.

Addressing the Social Determinants of Mental Health: If Not Now, When? If Not Us, Who? (2018)

Authors: Ruth S. Shim, M.D., M.P.H., Michael T. Compton, M.D., M.P.H.

The Social Determinant of Mental Health (2015)

Author: Lloyd I. Sederer, M.D.

Psychiatric News

APA Fall Conference to Focus on Determinants of Mental Health (2021)

Author: Vivian B. Pender, M.D.

Addressing Social Determinants of Mental Health (2021)

Author: Vivian B. Pender, M.D.

Incoming APA President Outlines Specific Plan to Address Social Determinants of Mental Health (2021)

Author: Mark Moran

Address Mental Health’s Social Determinants Through Policy Change (2015)

Authors: Michael T. Compton, M.D., M.P.H., Ruth S. Shim, M.D., M.P.H.


The Social Determinants of Mental Health (2015)

Editors: Michael T. Compton, M.D., M.P.H., Ruth S. Shim, M.D., M.P.H.

Contributors: Jamie M. Abelson, M.S.W., Kimson Bryant, B.A., Earle Chambers, Ph.D., M.P.H., Anna Chard, M.P.H., Benjamin G. Druss, M.D., M.P.H., Kisha B. Holden, Ph.D., M.S.C.R., Christopher S. Holliday, Ph.D., M.A., M.P.H., James S. Jackson, Ph.D., Carol Koplan, M.D., Frederick J. P. Langheim, M.D., Ph.D., Marc W. Manseau, M.D., M.P.H., Brian S. McGregor, Ph.D., Rebecca A. Powers, M.D., M.P.H., Jane A. Rafferty, M.A., Megan T. Sandel, M.D., M.P.H., David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., Shakira F. Suglia, Sc.D., M.S., Lynn C. Todman, Ph.D., M.C.P.

Textbook of Psychiatry (7th Edition): Chapter 6. The Social Determinants of Mental Health (2020)*

Authors: Ruth S. Shim, M.D., M.P.H., Michael T. Compton, M.D., M.P.H.

*includes 34 references and 8 recommended readings


Finding Our Voice: Social Exclusion and Isolation

APA Learning Center

Effects of Loneliness and Social Support on Mental, Cognitive, and Physical Health (CME: 0.75)

Engaging the Individual and the Family in Treatment Planning (CME: 1.0)

From Drapetomania to Schizophrenia: Systemic Racism, Psychiatry, and Potential Solutions (CME: 1.0)

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Mental Health of African Americans (CME: 1.0)

Supportive Housing for Homeless Adults with Serious Mental Illness (CME: 1.0)

Integrating Cultural Competence into Evidence Based Practices (CME: 1.0)

Psychological Impact of Racism (CME: 1.0)

Mental Health of Asian-American and Pacific Islanders (CME: 1.25)

Racism and Climate Change Impacts on Communities of Color (CME: 1.75)

Helping Patients Deal with Adverse Effects of Climate Change, Pandemics, and Mass Violence (CME: 4.0)

APA Foundation

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs)

Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice Diversion

Additional Resources

Medical & Professional Associations

Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education

American Academy Holdings (American Academy of Professional Coders)

American Academy of Family Physicians

American Academy of Pediatrics

American College of Surgeons

American Hospital Association

American Medical Association

American Public Health Association

Association of American Medical Colleges

Canadian Medical Association

National Academy of Medicine

National Alliance for Mental Illness

National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO)

National Collaborating Center for Determinants of Health (NCCDH)

National Collaborative for Health Equity

National Rural Health Resource Center

Federal & State Agencies

Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ)

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

Health & Human Services (HHS)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC)

Office of Rural Health Policy



New York

International & Global Agencies

NHS Public Health England

World Health Organization

Health Care Organizations

Center for Health Care Strategies


Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

Kaiser Permanente

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Structural Competency

Victorian Health Promotion Foundation


Topic: Costs

Topic: Screening/Coding

Meetings & Events

Watch the Recording  

Task Force Reports

During the 2021 APA September Components Meeting, Task Force Workgroup Chairs met with the APA’s 13 Councils. See the Task Force’s presentation here.