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Health Equity and Access

Advising National Institute of Mental Health on mental health disparities research

APA submits comments to NIMH on fostering research to improve mental health outcomes in minority populations.
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American Psychological Association. (2021, January 7). Advising National Institute of Mental Health on mental health disparities research.

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APA submitted comments to NIMH on Dec. 11, in response to its Request for Information: “Fostering Innovative Research to Improve Mental Health Outcomes Among Minority and Health Disparities Populations.”

Several APA experts and governance groups provided data to inform APA’s comments. APA’s Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest and the Committee on Children, Youth and Families shared information. Div. 38 (Society for Health Psychology) shared several papers and references to give shape to the final APA comments.

Chief Advocacy Officer Katherine B. McGuire thanked the scientists who took time to share their expertise. “When we share comments from the association with a federal agency, we hope to showcase the best psychological science has to contribute to the subject at hand—and there is no subject more timely and important than improving mental health outcomes among minority populations. We are so grateful we could count on our experts stepping up when we called for contributions.”

The request for information asked for input on novel ways in which research on social determinants, cultural traditions, religion and spirituality, and historical trauma, to understand, prevent, and treat illnesses among minority and health disparities populations. APA’s comments discussed 11 paths of stressors linked to social determinants of health that are ripe for research on interventions. Other suggestions included increased study of risk and resilience, particularly coping factors; disaster response planning and risk communication; and better representation of health disparities populations in the scientific workforce.

For more information, contact Pat Kobor.