More than 100 psychiatrists, other health care providers, and community
leaders joined forces in late July to advance a collaborative effort to
eliminate ethnic and racial disparities in mental health care.
The event was hosted by the Black Psychiatrists of Greater New York and
Associates and the United Social Services Inc. of the New York Society for
Ethical Culture; it was sponsored by the American Psychiatric Foundation,
APA's Department of Minority and National Affairs, and the National Medical
Association's Psychiatry Section.
CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller Morial served as the moderator of
the event, which explored the strategies of the partnering organizations in
addressing ethnic and racial disparities.
“While psychiatry can and should take a leadership role in addressing
minority mental health issues, we believe it is imperative that a broader
group organize around this effort,” said Altha Stewart, M.D., president
of the American Psychiatric Foundation. “This event is an example of the
type of intellect, energy, and commitment necessary to address the complex
issue of disparities.”
“Today was about demonstrating how these collaborations can work to
help serve our patients and community,” said Phyllis Harrison-Ross,
M.D., an APA distinguished life fellow. Harrison-Ross played an integral role
in organizing the event.
Following the panel discussion, guests were treated to a performance of the
Dance Theatre of Harlem's Dancing Through Barriers Ensemble. Executive
Director Naidu Laveen described how the Dance Theatre of Harlem has been“
dancing through barriers” since its inception in 1969. It acts as
a “traveling university,” working to educate young people about
the art of dance.
“This event was a true celebration of our efforts to eliminate
disparities. The name Dancing Through Barriers speaks to bridging gaps and
moving from oppression and depression to expression,” said Annelle
Primm, M.D., director of APA's Department of Minority and National Affairs.“
The beautiful performance before an audience of people from diverse
backgrounds helped us publicize our efforts to break down barriers to mental
health and quality of life for all Americans.”
This event was supported through an unrestricted educational grant from
Mary Claire Leftwich is the development assistant and Michele Werner is
the development officer at the American Psychiatric Foundation.