News & Announcements

Minority Mental Health Awareness Month Resources and Webinar Recordings

Posted: July 20, 2012

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month and the month offers organizations of all types and sizes a wonderful opportunity to create mental health awareness in diverse communities. The US House of Representatives proclaimed July as this special month in 2008, aiming to improve access to mental health treatment and services through increased public awareness. Since then, many organizations have hosted a variety of events and activities in communities across the country each year. The NNED and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) partnered on two webinars celebrating the month, you can read about and watch both the webinars recordings:


Here are other ways you can get involved:


Integrated Care Resources for Reducing Disparities:

Endgame—PBS Documentary About the AIDS Epidemic in Black America

Posted: July 19, 2012

A new two-hour documentary, Endgame: AIDS in Black America, directed and written by Renata Simone, delves into the complexities of the AIDS epidemic in Black America and focuses both on personal responsibility and the serious social factors that continue to fuel HIV and make African-Americans more vulnerable to contracting the disease.

Endgame explores how politics, social factors and cultural factors allowed the AIDS epidemic to spread rapidly in the African-American community over the past three decades. The film - shot in churches, harm-reduction clinics, prisons, nightclubs and high school classrooms - tells personal stories from children who were born with the virus, public health officials and educators who run HIV clinics, and clergy members around the country, many of whom have been divided on their response to the epidemic. The film also explores how the war on drugs in the 1980s and 1990s affected the spread of HIV in communities where large percentages of African-American men were incarcerated.

In a PBS press release, Simone is clear that her film's goal is to explore the troublesome relationship that racial inequality and HIV have in communities of color: There are concrete reasons as to why African-Americans are 10 times more likely than their white counterparts to be infected with HIV. "The film is about race in America as much as it is about HIV - how a virus has exploited our inability to deal with our problems around race." She added, "In part I hoped to show how the big, abstract social issues come to rest on people every day, in the limited life choices they face. The story of HIV in black America is about the private consequences of the politics of race."

The Black AIDS Institute's Phil Wilson, basketball legend Magic Johnson, AIDS activist and public speaker Marvelyn Brown and sex therapist Gail Wyatt among many voices included in this film.

Read more on Watch the documentary on the PBS website.

Hispanic Fulltime College Students More Likely to Have Major Depressive Episode

Posted: July 19, 2012

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) Report released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found Hispanic fulltime college students were more likely than other Hispanic young adults to have had a major depressive episode (9.1 vs. 6.4 percent). The report is titled Major Depressive Episode among Full-Time College Students and Other Young Adults, Aged 18 to 22.

Using combined data from the NSDUH for 2008 to 2010, this issue of The NSDUH Report focuses on the prevalence of past year major depressive episode (MDE) among college students and other young adults (part-time college students and those not currently enrolled in college) aged 18 to 22. The report compares the prevalence of MDE for these two groups by gender and race/ethnicity. The extent to which full-time college students and other young adults aged 18 to 22 with MDE report that their symptoms interfere with their important activities and their personal relationships (based on the Sheehan Disability Scale, or SDS) is also described. The report also indicates the proportion of each group that reported that they received specialty mental health treatment.

For both full-time college students and other young adults aged 18 to 22, females were more likely than males to have had a past year MDE. Among full-time college students, 12.0 percent of females had a past year MDE compared with 4.5 percent of males; among other young adults aged 18 to 22, 11.3 percent of females had a past year MDE, compared with 5.5 percent of males. The prevalence of MDE differed by racial/ethnic categories. Among full-time college students, the percentage with past year MDE ranged from 6.3 percent among Asians to 17.6 percent among persons of two or more races. Among other young adults aged 18 to 22, the rates of past year MDE ranged from 4.2 percent among Asians to 17.8 percent among persons of two or more races.

Read the full report.


Stress and Depression in Well-Educated, Pregnant, African-American Women

Posted: July 18, 2012

A study published in Women’s Health Issues found that racial, gendered, and general stress were all predictive of depression among well-educated, pregnant black women. The study is titled Contextualized Stress, Global Stress, and Depression in Well-Educated, Pregnant, African-American Women.

According to the article, previous studies have demonstrated that well-educated black women have worse birth outcomes than their white peers, as well as women from other racial and ethnic backgrounds who are less educated, unemployed, and uninsured. The authors indicated that previous studies also have determined that stress-related depression is a risk factor for poor birth outcomes. The authors of this study aimed to evaluate the impact of contextualized stress (a measure capturing the unique stress burden experienced by black women) and global stress (a stress measure generalizable across populations) on depression rates among well-educated black women during pregnancy. The researchers recruited women from the Atlanta, GA, area through participants in another study and conducted a cross-sectional study between 1999 and 2003. The study sampled 101 pregnant black women in their first and second trimesters and who ranged in age from 20 to 42 years. The majority of women in the sample were college educated and employed. The study used the Jackson, Hogue, Phillips Contextualized Stress Measure (JHP) to assess the unique stress burden experienced by black women. The JHP was used to derive a composite score accounting for the stress of racism, sexism, and other phenomenon experienced by black women. The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) was used to measure global stress. Depression was measured using the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II). The study found that 35 percent of women in the sample had high levels of contextualized stress, 40 percent had high levels of general global stress, and 23 percent were depressed. High contextualized and global stress levels were found to be significant predictors of depression. The study also found that having lower household income or already having children were both associated with stress among pregnant black women. 

The authors concluded that racial and gendered stress and discrimination are key drivers of racial health disparities and may also lead to poor birth outcomes among black women. The authors noted their small sample size and the limited variability in the demographics: a high proportion of participants were college educated and employed. Additional research is necessary to generalize these findings to the larger black community. Further research also is needed to identify positive social supports that protect black women from stress during pregnancy.

Read more on the Kaiser Family Foundation website. Read the abstract of the study.

Identifying Mental Health and Substance Use Problems of Children and Adolescents

Posted: July 16, 2012

This guide was created to promote the early identiication of children and adolescents with mental health and substance use problems as well as to provide guidance, tools, and resources for early identiication—including a compendium of the most developmentally, culturally, and environmentally appropriate screening instruments. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) developed the guide using the input of the members of the Federal/National Partnership Early Identiication Workgroup, chaired by representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Services Administration. 

Workgroup members include representatives from the Administration for Children and Families, HHS; the Air Force, Department of defense; CDC, HHS; HRSA, HHS; Indian Health Services, HHS; National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, HHS; Office on Disability, HHS; Ofice of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Department of Justice; Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, Department of Education (ED); Office of Special Education Programs, ED; and SAMHSA, HHS. Individuals from these agencies reviewed the guide to ensure that it accurately addresses the general concerns and issues as well as the speciic needs of children and adolescents targeted by their agency.

This guide is written for personnel working in child-serving organizations and the families of the children (birth–12 years) and adolescents (13–22 years) being served. The purpose of the guide is to address the approaches, methods, and strategies used to identify mental 

health and substance use problems of high-risk youths in settings that serve either a broad spectrum of children and adolescents or a high-risk population. The seven settings addressed in this guide are as follows: 
  • Child welfare 
  • Early care and education 
  • Family, domestic violence, and runaway shelters 
  • Juvenile justice 
  • Mental health and substance abuse treatment for co-occurring disorders 
  • Primary care 
  • Schools and out-of-school programs 

Read more about the guide. Download the guide (pdf).

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