The APA Presidential Task Force to Address Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry was formed by APA President Dr. Jeffrey Geller in June 2020. Read the announcement of the task force here.
The APA Board of Trustees Structural Racism Accountability Committee (SRAC) was formed in 2021 to ensure the recommendations of the 2020-2021 APA Presidential Task Force to Address Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry (TFSR) are carried out. Learn more at the link below.
Charge of the Task Force
Focusing on organized psychiatry, psychiatrists, psychiatric trainees, psychiatric patients, and others who work to serve psychiatric patients, the Task Force is initially charged with:
- Providing education and resources on APA's and psychiatry's history regarding structural racism;
- Explaining the current impact of structural racism on the mental health of our patients and colleagues;
- Developing achievable and actionable recommendations for change to eliminate structural racism in the APA and psychiatry now and in the future;
- Providing reports with specific recommendations for achievable actions to the APA Board of Trustees at each of its meetings through May 2021; and
- Monitoring the implementation of tasks 1-4.
Task Force Membership
- Cheryl Wills, M.D., DFAPA - Chair
- Renée Binder, M.D.
- Frank Clark, M.D., F.P.A.
- Charles Dike, FRCPsych, MBChB, M.P.H.
- Mary Jo Fitz-Gerald, M.D., M.B.A., DLFAPA
- Danielle Hairston, M.D.
- Hunter L. McQuistion, M.D., DLFAPA
- Michele Reid, M.D., DLFAPA, FACPsych
- Steven Starks, M.D., FAPA
- Richard F. Summers, M.D.
- Sanya Virani, M.D., M.P.H.
Task Force Survey Results
The Task Force has fielded three short, informal surveys to ensure its work is informed by the field of psychiatry at large.
- Survey #1, fielded between June 30 and July 10, 2020, asked: "What are the top three areas the Task Force should focus on to address the impact of structural racism on our patients?" The top themes of the answers from about 485 respondents were: "Access to care," "Professional diversity," and "Experiences of racism." View a summary of results from the first survey here (.pdf)
- Survey #2, fielded between July 23 to August 6, 2020, asked: "What are the top three ways that institutional racism is reflected in APA as an organization?" The top themes of the answers from 731 respondents were: "Diversity in leadership," "None exists at APA," and "Other." View a summary of results from the second survey here (.pdf)
- Survey #3, fielded between October 5 to 23, 2020 covered eight questions focused on racism in psychiatric practice. View a summary of results from the third survey here (.pdf)
- Survey #4, fielded between March 29 - April 14, 2021 focused on how psychiatrists can support racial equity. View a summary of results from the third survey here (.pdf)
Task Force News and Reports
- Final Report of the Presidential Task Force on Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry, May 11, 2021 (.pdf)
- Report of the Presidential Task Force on Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry to the APA Board of Trustees, Mar. 12, 2021 (.pdf)
- Report of the Presidential Task Force on Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry to the APA Board of Trustees, Dec. 12, 2020 (.pdf). At its December 2020 meeting, the Board of Trustees approved Actions 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 requested by the Task Force. It voted to consider and revisit Action 5 at its March 2021 meeting.
- Take the Well-Being Self Assessment 2.0. APA is seeking to learn more about well-being and burnout among psychiatrists in general and among minority and underrepresented psychiatrists, specifically.
- November 2020 Update: During the November 2020 Town Hall, Dr. Michele Reid, member of the APA Board of Trustees and Structural Racism Task Force member, presented an update on the work of the Task Force. Read the report here (.pdf) and watch her update at this timestamped video.
- Report of the Presidential Task Force on Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry to the APA Board of Trustees, Sept. 13, 2020)(.pdf)
- At its October 2020 meeting, the Board of Trustees approved Actions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 requested by the Task Force. APA members can review the Board of Trustees meeting minutes on the Governance Meeting Archives page.
- A Psych News Q&A with Task Force Leadership: APA Task Force Charged With Examining Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry, July 30, 2020
- APA Presidential Task Force to Address Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry Begins Its Work, July 2, 2020
- New APA task force seeks to address structural racism through psychiatry, Mental Health Weekly, July 10, 2020
- Summary of Component Actions - December 12, 2020 (.pdf)
Online Resources on Structural Racism in Psychiatry for Medical Students & Trainees in Psychiatry
- Anti-Racism and Race Literacy: A Primer and Toolkit for Medical Educators
- Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Mental Health Care: Evidence and Policy Implications
- Racial/ethnic discrimination and prosecution: A meta-analysis
- Mental health of immigrants and refugees seeking legal services on the US-Mexico border
- That Which is Essential has been Made Invisible: The Need to Bring a Structural Risk Perspective to Reduce Racial Disproportionality in Child Welfare
- Stopping Discrimination Before It Starts: The Impact of Civil Rights Laws on Healthcare Disparities - A Medical School Curriculum
- Racism as a Determinant of Health: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
- The Essence of Innocence: Consequences of Dehumanizing Black Children
- Mental Health Disparities, Treatment Engagement, and Attrition Among Racial/Ethnic Minorities with Severe Mental Illness: A Review
- Social vulnerabilities for substance use: Stressors, socially toxic environments, and discrimination and racism
- A current re-examination of racial/ethnic disparities in the use of substance abuse treatment: Do disparities persist?
- Disparities in the Treatment of Substance Use Disorders: Does Where You Live Matter?
- Examining the Impact of Structural Racism on Food Insecurity: Implications for Addressing Racial/Ethnic Disparities
- Triple jeopardy: the joint impact of racial segregation and neighborhood poverty on the mental health of black Americans
- Unconscious Bias and the Diagnosis of Disruptive Behavior Disorders and ADHD in African American and Hispanic Youth
Racism in Psychiatry
- Beyond misdiagnosis, misunderstanding and mistrust: relevance of the historical perspective in the medical and mental health treatment of people of color
- Invoking History and Structural Competency to Minimize Racial Bias
- Structural Racism And Health Inequities: Old Issues, New Directions
- Healthcare Disparities
- Medical Ethics and Health Equity: The Henrietta Lacks Story
- Ending Discrimination Against People with Mental and Substance Use Disorders: The Evidence for Stigma Change
- Using the Implicit Associations Test to Promote Reflection About Personal Bias
Skills for Residents to Address Racism in Clinical Settings.
- APA Resource Document (2020): How Psychiatrists Can Talk with Patients and Their Families About Race and Racism
- Structural competency: theorizing a new medical engagement with stigma and inequality
- APA Learning Center Activity: Responding to Racism from Patients, Families, and Guests Towards Residents and Practicing Physicians
- When Race Matters on the Wards: Talking About Racial Health Disparities and Racism in the Clinical Setting
- (Report) Mental Health: Culture, Race, and Ethnicity: A Supplement to Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General
- (Article) COVID-19, Structural Racism, and Mental Health Inequities: Policy Implications for an Emerging Syndemic
- (Course) Structural Competency: Curriculum for Medical Students, Residents, and Interprofessional Teams on the Structural Factors That Produce Health Disparities
- (Book) Structural Competency in Mental Health and Medicine:A Case-Based Approach to Treating the Social Determinants of Health
- (Book) Racism and Psychiatry: Contemporary Issues and Interventions
- (Book) The Social Determinants of Mental Health
- (Book) Social (In)Justice and Mental Health
Webinars and APA Learning Center Activities
- Racism and Black Mental Health
- Responding to Racism from Patients, Families, and Guests Towards Residents and Practicing Physicians
- Structural Racism and Discrimination: Taking the First Steps Forward
- APA Town Hall Series: Addressing Structural Racism
APA Position Statements
Visit the APA Policy Finder to search for and view the following Position Statements, and more:
- Position Statement on Resolution Against Racism and Racial Discrimination and Their Adverse Impacts on Mental Health
- Position Statement on Diversity and Inclusion in the Physician Workforce
- Position Statement on Police Brutality and Black Males
- Position Statement on Police Interactions with Persons with Mental Illness
- Position Statement on Xenophobia, Immigration, and Mental Health
- Resource Document on How Psychiatrists Can Talk to Patients and Families About Race and Racism
APA Press Releases, Blogs & Letters
- APA Presidential Task Force to Address Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry Begins Its Work 2 July 2020)
- American Psychiatric Association and National Medical Association Jointly Condemn Systemic Racism in America (16 June 2020)
- APA Condemns Racism in All Forms, Calls for End to Racial Inequalities in U.S. (1 June 2020)
- COVID-19 and Anti-Asian Racism (1 June 2020)
- APA Condemns Police Brutality, Calls for Dialogue to Ease Civil Unrest (29 May 2020)
- APA Urges HHS to Collect Data on COVID-19's Impact on Vulnerable Populations (.pdf) 21 April 2020)
- APA Joins Multi-society Letter Against Stigmatization of Asian American Culture During COVID-19 (.pdf) (20 April 2020)
- APA Statement on COVID-19 and Health Disparities (11 April 2020)
- Recognizing and Addressing Bias in the Workplace (28 February 2020)
- Addressing Mental Health Stigma in African American and Other Communities of Color (4 February 2020)
- Microaggressions: Subtle, Pervasive, Harmful (13 December 2019)
- What APA is Doing for You: Diversity and Health Equity Resources (16 July 2019)
Psychiatric News Articles
- Rep. Grace Meng Addresses APA Caucus of Asian American Psychiatrists (November 2020)
- Mental Wear and Tear of Black Genu Protests (November 2020)
- APA/APAF Minority Fellows Outline Action Plan to End Racial Inequalities in Medical Education (August 2020)
- Black Identity Politics and Psychiatry (July 2020)
- A Race for a Bigger Brain (July 2020)
- America's First Asylum for African Americans Marks 150th Anniversary (July 2020)
- We Need to Talk Nondefensively About Race and Admit Shortcomings (July 2020)
- Physicians Advocate for Black Patients, Colleagues (July 2020)
- Antidote for Inhumanity (July 2020)
- Should I Ask Patients About Racism In Appointments? (July 2020)
- Structural Racism in American Psychiatry and APA: Part 2 (July 2020)
- Structural Racism in American Psychiatry and APA: Part 1 (June 2020)
- Psychiatrists Demand Action on Racism (June 2020)
- Black Psychiatrists Call on White Colleagues To Dismantle Racism in Profession, APA (June 2020)
- Racism and Inequities in Health Care for Black Americans (June 2020)
- Minority, Underrepresented Members Connect Through Caucuses (February 2020)
- 50 Years After the Civil Rights Era, Racism in Psychiatric Training Remains (May 2019)
- 'Black Men in Psychiatry Early Pipeline Program' Highlights Mentoring, Relationship Building (May 2019)
- When Diversity Is Not Enough (August 2019)
- Stewart to Focus on APA's Being a Leader On Issues of Diversity and Inclusion (May 2018)
- Why Talking About Diversity Matters (November 2017)
- Pernicious Effects of Racism Discussed in Session Honoring Chester Pierce, M.D. (July 2017)
- Diversity 3.0: From Fairness to Excellence (February 2016)
- Racism Lingers in Mental Health System (November 2013)
American Journal of Psychiatry Articles
- Psychiatry Diversity Leadership in Academic Medicine: Guidelines for Success
- Dimensions of Institutional Racism in Psychiatry
- Benjamin Rush and the Negro
- Problems of Black Psychiatric Residents in White Training Institutes
- Beware of Whites Bearing Gifts
- The Social Psychiatry of Frantz Fanon
- Reflections on Racism
- Research and Careers for Blacks
- The Social Determinants of Mental Health
Compton, M. & Shim, R. (2015).
- Black Mental Health: Patients, Providers, and Systems