Webinar series: Improving inequities in care

Proactive change to meet the needs of marginalized populations, including those of sexual and racial minorities, is urgently needed. Current events continue to highlight inequities in health due to systemic problems and both conscious and unconscious biases. This series from Ontario Psychiatric Association (OPA) aims to provide clinical knowledge and skills to identify the needs of such underserviced populations, identify and address barriers to care, and create change through self-awareness, modification of practices and subsequent systemic cultural shifts.

Transcending barriers: Improving access to care for trans-identified individuals

Psychiatry has a history of conflating LGBTQ identities with mental illness and has, therefore, contributed to the stigma and discrimination faced by people who identify as LGBTQ. This has had consequences in terms of the mental health of LGBTQ-identified individuals as well as their access to appropriate mental health care. While “homosexuality” is no longer included as a diagnosis within the DSM, controversy continues to surround the inclusion of gender dysphoria within the DSM-5, with many arguing that this diagnosis should be removed from the DSM because the diagnosis pathologizes transgender identities, while others believe it should remain in the DSM to ensure continued access to appropriate medical treatment (e.g. access to hormones and/or gender-affirming surgeries) for people who identify as transgender. This talk will review the terminology associated with trans* identities, emphasizing diversity within trans* communities. Specific mental healthcare needs and disparities within trans* communities will be reviewed. Barriers to care for trans-identified individuals will be discussed, as will practical ways in which these barriers can be addressed to create or maintain a mental health practice/office space that is
affirming to people who identity as trans* (and/or LGBTQ).

Date: Monday, May 31, 2021

Time: 7:45 - 9:30 p.m. EDT

Register now.

Learning objectives

  • Improve understanding of terminology related to individuals who identify as trans* and the diversity within trans* communities.
  • Gain knowledge regarding some of the specific mental healthcare needs of trans* individuals.
  • Develop awareness of the barriers to care for trans-identified communities.
  • Increase knowledge of ways to improve access to care for trans-identified individuals.
  • Gain practical skills in creating/maintaining an office space/mental health practice that is affirming of LGBTQ+ identities (how to be an ally).

Speaker

Dr. Albina Veltman is an Associate Professor at McMaster University in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences. From 2013-2016, she served as the Inaugural Chair of Diversity & Engagement for the Undergraduate Medical Education Program at McMaster. Dr. Veltman’s clinical work focuses on traditionally marginalized populations, including people with severe and persistent mental illness, people with developmental disabilities, and people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer (LGBTQ). She is a frequent speaker at national and international workshops and conferences on topics related to social justice, diversity and LGBTQ health. Dr. Veltman is the lead author on the Canadian Psychiatric Association's first position paper on the provision of mental health care for LGBTQ-identified individuals (published in 2014). She has been the recipient of several awards and grants, including the 2013 McMaster University Department of Psychiatry Undergraduate Educator Award, a 2014 AMS Phoenix Project Call to Caring Grant, and the 2015 Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Gay & Lesbian Psychiatrists.

Opportunities for antiracism advocacy in mental health policy and practice

Mental health and substance use disorder services of the 21st century must be reimagined to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse patient population deserving of high-quality services. Data trends reflect persistent gaps in access to diagnosis, treatment and wrap-around services for racial-ethnic minorities. The access to care continuum includes coverage, accessibility of services, the quality of care delivered and a capacity for meeting treatment goals. Barriers to this successful continuum include lack of attention being paid to how racism subverts efforts to ensure access to high quality care for all and missed opportunities to incorporate culturally-relevant and responsive services. This conference will introduce an analysis of where we are in MH/SUD services and where we need to be headed with a focus on antiracism and cultural adaptations of our services.

Date: Monday, June 14, 2021

Time: 7:45 - 9:30 p.m. EDT

Register now.

Learning objectives

  • Realize and understand that racial oppression and inequities are essential to understand and respond to within MH/SUD services.
  • Understand how history intersects with culture to impact communication, working relationships, and the community experience of MH/SUD services.
  • Identify and apply at least three competencies in anti-racism most relevant to clinical practice and professional development.

Speaker

Jessica Elizabeth Isom, MD MPH, is an experienced community psychiatrist, public speaker, medical educator and consultant for diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism projects. Driven by a passion for collaborative leadership, she takes pride in providing the conceptual frameworks and psychological safety necessary to expand the growing edges of her clients and peers. With over 10 years of demonstrated success in building relationships with patients and colleagues from all walks of life, Dr. Isom draws on her psychiatric training and humble background to connect across differences in power, education, and perspective to foster a collaborative approach to achieving racial justice and equity in medicine and beyond. In the Yale Department of Psychiatry, her professionalism, diversity and inclusion expertise and educational skillset were honored through awards and department-wide recognition. Her strong training background and leadership experiences inform her current role in Boston, MA as an attending psychiatrist at Codman Square Health Center. At Codman, she is providing expertise on antiracist transformation of staff and programming with a specific focus on the opioid use disorder services. She currently serves as a leader within the American Psychiatric Association Assembly representing Early Career Psychiatrists, where her contributions center on illuminating the need for health equity in organized psychiatry. Her organized psychiatry involvement has earned national recognition as she was awarded the Resident-Fellow Member Mentor Award in 2019.

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