COLLABORATING FOR EQUITY AND JUSTICEBridging Divides and Healing Wounds
The Covid-19 pandemic and racial violence have highlighted inequities in our society and led to a reckoning within Cultural Psychiatry and Psychology and Global Mental Health about structural barriers to equity within our institutions and how our work may perpetuate or alleviate them in society. Cultural Psychiatry has been criticized by some for overemphasizing cultural forces as an explanatory framework for inequities and not prioritizing advocacy. How can we collaborate with our clients and colleagues and act as allies or advocates? How can our knowledge and skills be employed to help promote understanding and bridge divisiveness to work together towards a more equitable and inclusive society?
Cultural Psychiatrists and Psychologists and Global Mental Health practitioners are increasingly working in collaborative spaces. Some of these collaborations feel familiar, such as with scholars in other disciplines. Other collaborations might feel new or unfamiliar, such as with lay counselors, peer specialists, religious leaders and healers, as well as with policy-makers and institutional administrators. The 2020 Annual Meeting began to grapple with the challenges of such complex collaborations, and we will continue to develop this theme further with our 2021 meeting.
Collaboration can mean many things. An obvious meaning is partnership: to what extent do our academic, educational, and community-based collaborations reflect true partnerships? What are the challenges that arise in collaborating across levels of expertise, such as expertise in psychiatry, local expertise, or expertise in lived experience? Should partnerships be sought for every aspect and kind of mental health-related research, or are they more applicable to some than others? How are power differentials managed in partnerships between researchers from high-income countries and those from low-and-middle-income countries? What are successful models for navigating such partnerships?
Additionally, we aim to translate our work not only to other experts in the field but to policy-makers, patients, their family members, and the broader public. How do we ensure that our research is applicable, and how do we effectively convince others of this? Finally, how can we successfully integrate across disciplines and epistemologies in our scholarship and practice? How can we conceptualize categories such as cultural competence and structural competence as complementary and integrative approaches to achieve healthcare equity? How can we integrate across care providers, including not only psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, and peer specialists, but also religious leaders, traditional healers, or other care providers?
Examples of topics and domains related to the conference theme include the following:
Reflexivity in Collaboration and Advocacy
What are the implications of the pandemic for mental health and mental healthcare?
Partnerships among care providers
Translating to policy-makers and the general public
Partnerships between Global North and South
Conference Learning Objectives
After attending this meeting, participants will be able to:
Describe 3 challenges in mental health and mental healthcare that have emerged as a result of Covid-19 and/or systemic inequities
Describe 3 challenges in culture and mental health that arise in collaborating across disciplines, settings, or across power differentials to promote equity, diversity, and social justice.
Provide 3 examples of successful integration of multiple epistemologies, forms of care, or types of expertise in designing research, training programs, care services and programs, and social and health policies for diverse communities
Apply lessons learned to design and implement equitable partnerships in cultural psychiatry, global mental health, and advocacy
Abstract Submission Categories
Abstracts can be submitted for Workshops, Symposia, Individual Papers or Posters, Works in Progress, and Trainee Fellowship Papers.
Workshops that allow for participants to gain skills in issues related to Collaboration or cultural psychiatry writ large are strongly encouraged and will be given priority. Submissions based on qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods primary data and clinical encounters will be given preference over position pieces. Participants are encouraged to submit abstracts early. SSPC will provide technical assistance for abstract submissions up to 48 hours before the deadline.
Workshops are approximately 1.5 hours long. They should have one organizer and up to four co-facilitators. Workshops are different from symposia in that they are more interactive and are required to have hands-on activities for participants. In addition to an abstract, workshop submissions must include a timeline of activities. Workshop themes should address specific skills, debates, or concepts, either related to the theme of Collaboration for Equity and Justice or broadly applicable to Cultural Psychiatry and Global Mental Health. Examples include how to work with youth to develop engagement strategies that encourage diverse youth with first-episode psychosis to participate in care or how to collaborate with LMIC partners in GMH research.
This category allows individuals or teams the opportunity to receive feedback during the early stages of developing a project, curriculum, therapy approach, clinical service, future SSPC presentation, etc. Abstracts can present preliminary concepts or findings and should include specific topics or questions for discussion. Work in Progress sessions will be 1.5 hours long and include 2 presentations, lasting 15 minutes, with substantial time dedicated to discussion for each presentation.
Social science (masters or PhD students) or medical (medical student or resident) trainees may submit papers for consideration for a fellowship presentation. Up to two fellowships are given each year. SSPC Fellows have registration costs waived and receive a $500 honorarium to offset travel costs. We encourage trainees to submit abstracts for the general abstract submission deadline even if they plan to submit a paper for consideration for a fellowship. That way their submissions can be considered for inclusion in the conference if they are not awarded a fellowship.
The deadline for ALL submission types is December 11, 2020
All submissions undergo a multiple-reviewer selection and scoring process. Notification of acceptance or rejection will be sent by early 2021. After notification of acceptance, all presenters (including workshop co-facilitators and discussants) will be required to pay the conference registration fee by February 1st for their submission to be included in the annual meeting program.