News & Announcements

Public Health’s Role in Mental Health Disparities (posted 3/8)

Posted: March 08, 2010

Racial and ethnic minority populations are underserved in the U.S. mental health care system, and treatment disparities between whites and African Americans have increased substantially since the 1990s, according to an article in the January issue of Preventing Chronic Disease. The authors of the article entitled "The Role of Public Health in Addressing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Mental Health and Mental Illness" call for an increased emphasis on prevention, providing mental health services to incarcerated and recently released populations, and working towards a more diverse, multicultural mental health workforce. To view the article online click here. To download the article click here.

Racial/ethnic minority populations are underserved in the American mental health care system. Disparity in treatment between whites and African Americans has increased substantially since the 1990s. Racial/ethnic minorities may be disproportionately affected by limited English proficiency, remote geographic settings, stigma, fragmented services, cost, comorbidity of mental illness and chronic diseases, cultural understanding of health care services, and incarceration. We present a model that illustrates how social determinants of health, interventions, and outcomes interact to affect mental health and mental illness. Public health approaches to these concerns include preventive strategies and federal agency collaborations that optimize the resilience of racial/ethnic minorities. We recommend strategies such as enhanced surveillance, research, evidence-based practice, and public policies that set standards for tracking and reducing disparities.

Q&A: Gregorio Millett, Senior Policy Adviser, Office of National AIDS Policy (posted 3/8)

Posted: March 08, 2010

Black AIDS Institute recently conducted an interview with Gregorio Millett Senior Policy Adviser, Office of National AIDS Policy:

"Longtime HIV researcher and activist Gregorio Millett, M.P.H., formerly with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and now working at the White House's Office of National AIDS Policy, is helping to lead the Obama administration's effort to develop our country's first National HIV/AIDS Strategy. We caught up with Millett to find out what motivates him and how the Black community figures into the plan."  To read the full interview click here.

HHS Announces 2010 Tribal Consultation Blueprint (posted 3/4)

Posted: March 04, 2010

In a letter released on March 1, 2010, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the Department’s compliance with President Barack Obama’s memorandum on Tribal consultation and shared a blueprint for continuing to improve consultation efforts. Annual Regional Consultation Sessions across the country will be used to facilitate a dialogue with Tribal leaders and communities on how to foster communication and collaboration, to continue to build healthier Tribal Nations. To download the blueprint click here. To download the Secretary's letter to Tribal leaders click here. To read the press release click here.

There are primarily five ways in which HHS consults with Tribes:

  • Budget Consultation
  • Regional Consultation
  • Tribal Delegation Meetings
  • Individual Agency Consultations and Consultation Policies
  • Consultation Report

The Annual Tribal Budget Consultation Session will be held on March 4-5, 2010 in Washington, DC.

Upcoming Regional Consultation Sessions:

Seattle, WATuesday March 23, 2010
Anchorage, AKThursday March 25, 2010
Atlanta, GATuesday March 30, 2010
Minneapolis, MNTuesday April 20, 2010
Albuquerque, NMThursday April 22, 2010
San Diego, CATuesday April 27, 2010
Phoenix, AZThursday April 29, 2010
Denver, COWednesday May 5, 2010

Black Adult Alcohol Use Below National Average (posted 3/4)

Posted: March 04, 2010

A new study out of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reveals that the current alcohol use rate for blacks aged 18 and older is significantly lower than the national adult average.  Based on a national survey the study also reveals that black adults have a lower rate of current binge drinking than the national adult average.  However, illicit drug use among black adults is higher than the national average.  “This study provides important insight into the differences affecting various populations across our country,” said SAMHSA Administrator, Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. “As a nation we must strive to reach out to every part of our population and provide services that are best tailored to effectively promote the benefits of prevention, treatment and good health.”  To read the study click here.

This study is part of a series of reports examining substance use patterns among different ethnic, racial and demographic groups in America. The studies are designed to provide data that will help public health experts, service providers and communities better understand and address the issues affecting various segments of the population.

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day March 10th

Posted: March 04, 2010

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD) is a nationwide initiative celebrated on March 10 every year to raise awareness of the increasing impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls.

Every 35 minutes, a woman tests positive for HIV in the United States. More and more women have become infected with HIV since it was first reported in the early 1980s. Today, about 1 in 4 Americans living with HIV are women. Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has released a statement that highlights some of the alarming statistics related to the rates of HIV/AIDS in women and teenage girls: "In the United States, women and teenage girls accounted for more than a quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in 2007 and more than 93,900 cumulative deaths from AIDS. Black women in this country suffer disproportionately from the HIV/AIDS epidemic, as they acquire new HIV infections at nearly 15 times the rate of white women. Worldwide, half of the estimated 33.4 million people living with HIV in 2008 were female, and HIV was the leading cause of disease and death for women of childbearing age."  To read the full statement click here.

The Office of Women's Health website offers planning resources, events by state and health resources.  To visit the site click here.

Check out this podcast from about NWGHAAD, click here.

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