Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

APA Takes Stand against Racism

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

APA Takes Stand against Racism

Article excerpt

The American Psychiatric Association has taken stands against racism many times over the years. But for the first time, the organization's board of trustees has adopted a position specifically calling for the elimination of racism and racial discrimination that adversely affect mental health. This move is a positive one for both our profession and our patients.

Ironically, this positive statement grew out of one of the most negative events in our nation's history: Hurricane Katrina. In Katrina's aftermath, the Committee of Black Psychiatrists (COBP), an APA panel that represents the interests of black psychiatrists and black patients--launched a task force aimed at developing the position statement.

As the person who chaired the COBP when the position statement was drafted, I am particularly proud of this effort.

While formulating this statement, my colleagues and I on the COBP were keenly aware of an important point: Although the legacy of slavery in America has created a particular context for racism and racial discrimination as they pertain to blacks and whites, racism and racial discrimination in this country affect all racial and cultural groups.

We also recognized the research and recommendations brought forward in the Surgeon General's 2001 report on minority mental health and the National Institute of Health's 2003 publication, "Unequal Treatment," on the state of health care disparities.

Hence, we drafted the Resolution Against Racism & Racial Discrimination & Their Adverse Impacts on Mental Health. In adopting the resolution, the APA board of trustees recognized the adverse effect of racism and racial discrimination on victims and perpetrators--and racial disparities in health care. I am pleased with the resolution's strong opposition to all forms of racism and racial discrimination that adversely affect mental health and the delivery of psychiatric services. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.