A new avenue for training and information is now available to help professionals and communities address health disparities and support the equity, effectiveness, and appropriateness of behavioral health services for African Americans. The new African American Behavioral Health Center of Excellence is a project of Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, one of only four medical schools among the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The center was established in October by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Principal Investigator Dawn Tyus says the center’s charge is to create and provide training, written resources, and technical assistance to service providers in behavioral health and allied fields. The job of the AABH-COE will not only be to name and understand health disparities and their effects, she says, but it will also require a deep appreciation for the field, a firm grounding in the science, openness to innovation, and support for the transformation of behavioral health systems, organizations, practices, and practitioners.