Weekly Wrap-Up


MHAC Joins California Pan-Ethnic Health Network and Over 155 Organizations to Urge Governor Newsom to Declare Racism as a Public Health Crisis

With COVID-19 and racism ravaging our communities and leading to disproportionate cases and deaths of communities of color, primarily African American, Latinx/o, AAPI, and indigenous individuals, Governor Newsom has the power to take an important first step in acknowledging and holding the state accountable to systemic and institutional racism.

Laughter Acts as a Stress Buffer -- and Even Smiling Helps
People who laugh frequently in their everyday lives may be better equipped to deal with stressful events -- although this does not seem to apply to the intensity of laughter. These are the findings reported by a research team from the University of Basel in the journal PLOS ONE.

In the Shadow of Covid-19, Mental Health Help 
Can't Come Soon Enough
When the flu pandemic hit the United States in 1918, medical care was a privilege reserved for the elite. But the widespread outbreak of a deadly virus did not adhere to social hierarchies. It highlighted an inadequate system that too few could access. As a result, forward-thinking people built a public health infrastructure from scratch - one which we still see the critical value of today.
More than a hundred years later, in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic, we face the consequences of another inadequate and inaccessible system: mental health care. The psychological pressures that Covid-19 has brought - isolation and physical distancing, fast-rising unemployment and economic loss - have triggered what amounts to a secondary pandemic for millions of Americans. We need a mental health care overhaul.

Meeting the Mental and Behavioral Health Needs of Children Amid COVID-19

Children's hospitals have expanded partnerships with schools and community organizations to help kids and families maintain their well-being.
The coronavirus pandemic has not only wreaked havoc on the physical well-being of Americans across the country, but it has also exacerbated mental and behavioral health struggles for people of all ages, especially children. At a time when so many families are grappling with financial hardships and health concerns, the mental health of young people has taken a considerable hit, experts say.

Request for Information (RFI): Fostering Innovative Research to Improve Mental Health Outcomes Among Minority and Health Disparities Populations
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is interested in hearing from all interested parties about the next generation of innovative research priorities to improve mental health outcomes among minority and health disparities populations in the U.S. The NIMH is deeply committed to improving minority health outcomes and addressing mental health disparities through cutting-edge research.
We appreciate your responses by October 30, 2020. All comments must be submitted via email as text or as an attached electronic document. Your responses should be addressed to: nimhodwd@nih.gov. Please include the Notice number (NOT-MH-20-073) in the subject line. Responses to this RFI are voluntary. The submitted information will be reviewed by NIH staff.
We also appreciate any assistance you can provide in encouraging your networks to respond to this RFI. Thank you in advance!

Virtual Events

Real Talk is a discussion series highlighting topics pertaining to the Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Community, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement, systemic racism, and racial injustice.
It is facilitated by the hosts of our "People of Color" Support Group: Dewonna Howard & CW Johnson, as well as Kozi Arrington from PEERS in the East Bay.
To receive the Zoom link for this discussion, please email peter@mentalhealthsf.org 

Thursday, August 20, 2020 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. PST

Webinar 1 - Introduction to a Framework for Confronting Racism in Behavioral Health    

Part of the Series:  Eliminating Inequities in Behavioral Health Care Webinar Series
Please join us for the webinar series, Eliminating Inequities in Behavioral Health Care. The aim of this five (5) week webinar series is to increase participants' knowledge about the interplay between structural racism, behavioral health institutional racism, implicit bias, and behavioral health disparities. It also offers education about strategies to decrease, and ultimately, eliminate racial disparities in access, quality and outcomes of behavioral health treatment. This series is sponsored by the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).
The target audience for the series includes behavioral health care leadership, administrators and managers, ethnic service managers, peer professionals, clinical supervisors, clinicians/direct care providers, and care managers.

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