Mental Health Awareness Month: PAU Addresses Mental Health Disparities

Friday, April 30, 2021
Mental Health Awareness Month: PAU Addresses Closing the Gap in Mental Health Disparities
Conversations on Culturally Competent Mental Health Services  
During Mental Health Awareness Month, Palo Alto University (PAU), which is dedicated solely to education, training and research in the fields of psychology and counseling, will focus on the issue of eliminating disparities in mental health care, particularly as it relates to Asian American, Black or African American, Latinx and other marginalized populations. Without culturally competent mental health services, symptoms can be undiagnosed, under-diagnosed or misdiagnosed for cultural, linguistic or historical reasons.
“Covid-19 and other recent events have amplified the mental health disparities that exist within our own Bay Area neighborhoods, particularly within our Asian American and Pacific Islander, Latinx, Black or African American and immigrant communities,” said Palo Alto University President Maureen O’Connor. “Many or our faculty members and students are dedicated to addressing the needs of our most vulnerable populations in the classroom and in their research.”   
As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, join PAU President O’Connor and leading psychology and counseling faculty for an important conversation addressing the need for culturally and linguistically competent mental health services. 
Disparities in Mental Health Care: Closing the Gap in AAPI Communities 
Premiering on Facebook and YouTube: May 13 at 7pm*
Reaching and providing effective mental health services to the AAPI community requires knowledge about and cultural responsiveness across a wide array of beliefs and practices. Professors Joyce Chu and Shreya Vaishnav will join PAU President Maureen O’Connor to discuss urgent mental health needs and important approaches to addressing mental health and service disparities in underserved Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. 
Navigating Mental Health and Wellness Resources for Racial and Ethnic Minorities 
Premiering on Facebook and YouTube: May 24 at 7pm*
Communities of color are in greater danger of experiencing risk factors associated with developing a mental health disorder but are often the most underserved. Dr. Elena Herrera and Dr. Donya Wallace will discuss the barriers and challenges that exist for racial and ethnic minorities in accessing mental health care and the resources that support and affirm cultural identity, community, and healing. This includes being turned off by a lack of cultural competency in care delivery and the barriers that inhibit access to culturally informed treatment.
Mental Health Resources
For Mental Health Awareness Month, please visit our mental health resource page. It offers resources for a wide variety of communities, national mental health resources, webinars, podcasts and more.
*To watch the premieres, follow us on Facebook and/or subscribe to our YouTube channel
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