The Intersection of Racial Injustice and Behavioral Health
The Center for Alcohol Studies contributed to a recent webinar, offered by the American Public Health Association’s Mental Health Section. Drs. Crystal L. Brandow, WinR Fellow; Peggy Swarbrick, WinR Project Director; and Ron Manderscheid, Manderscheid Associates, discussed some of the intersections between addressing racial injustice and behavioral health. They offered recommendations for intervention points to confront the social determinants and adverse community experiences that contribute to health inequity.
For people of color experiencing concerns related to mental health, substance use, or trauma exposure, seeking, and accessing support and treatments can be a challenge. Although navigating the behavioral health services system can be difficult for anyone, people of color face unique barriers when in need of these services. Racism, discrimination, implicit bias, lack of culturally attuned providers, and a myriad of other factors compound the existing issues related to service access and maintenance. As a result, the current behavioral health service system contributes to health inequity. There are opportunities, however, to transform this system to better serve people of color.
Disclaimer: The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies