To address disparities in behavioral health care, the National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Behavioral Health (the NNED) was formed with support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and The Annie E. Casey Foundation, in partnership with the National Alliance of Multi-ethnic Behavioral Health Associations (NAMBHA).
NNED Vision: Striving for behavioral health equity for all individuals, families, and communities.
NNED Mission: To build a national network of diverse racial, ethnic, cultural and sexual minority communities and organizations to promote policies, practices, standards and research to eliminate behavioral health disparities.
The NNED supports information sharing, networking, and engagement among organizations and communities dedicated to the behavioral health and well-being of diverse communities. The NNED identifies and links “pockets of excellence” in reducing disparities and promoting behavioral health equity. It strives to avoid the tendency to “reinvent the wheel.” The NNED works with network members to:
- Coordinate the sharing of community-based knowledge and training of cultural, indigenous, and community-based best practices
- Foster new collaborative partnerships to grow and spread “pockets of excellence”
- Leverage resources through partnering and collaborative initiatives
- Research and design new practices and adapt existing practices
- Collectively advance political will
Historically, there have been issues that have made it difficult for diverse communities to work collectively to reduce the inequities of resources in their respective communities. The NNED tries to bridge these differences through a set of guiding principles that include a commitment to:
- excellence in behavioral health
- a strong community voice
- collective dialogue
- inclusion, respect and consensus
- trust and reciprocity
- a strengths-based approach to policy, practice and research
- a holistic view of health and wellness across the lifespan
- understanding system intersections
- understanding of good business principles
The NNED engages a diverse group of subject matter experts and persons with lived experience in the field of behavioral health through a Steering Committee. NNED Steering Committee members serve as important thought partners for the NNED’s direction and strategies. The NNED is grateful for the insight and contributions provided by Steering Committee members from across the country. In 2020, this included:
- Belisa Urbina – Ser Familia
- Cecily Rodriguez – Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs
- Cortney Yarholar – Boys and Girls Club of America, Native Services
- Denise Smith – National Association of Community Health Workers
- Julie Laurence – Comunilife
- Julissa Soto – Servicios de La Raza
- Vattana Peong – The Cambodian Family
- Victor Loo – Asian Counseling and Referral Service
If your organization is interested in partnering with the NNED, please email Rachele Espiritu (Project Director) at the NNED National Facilitation Center.