Vulnerable Populations

When it comes to mental health, there are vulnerable populations across America. These populations are defined by many different traits but are frequently considered minorities, and they are often underserved populations. The American Psychiatric Foundation takes their mental health care very seriously, and is working to address the needs of these underserved and minority populations.

Clinical experience and research provide substantial evidence that HIV directly infects the brain soon after initial infection, which can result in organic disease expression such as central nervous system impairment, dementia, pain, and mood disorders. So, our Office of HIV Psychiatry offers training, education, technical assistance, and resources for psychiatrists and other healthcare practitioners presenting the most current, cutting edge information on the management of psychiatric and neuropsychiatric dimensions of HIV disease.

Diversity and Health Equity Meetings, formerly known as OMNA on Tour, launched in 2005. The meetings are a series of town-hall-style forums to inform underserved communities about mental health disparities and their impact on overall health, economic productivity, and societal well-being.

Statistics show that there is a disproportionate rate of persons with a serious mental disorder within our jail system when compared to America's general population. The impact of this overrepresentation is not only extremely detrimental to the inmates who need and deserve treatment for their recovery, but it also causes extra stress on their families, the criminal justice system itself, public safety, and government spending. That's why we partnered with the Council of State Governments Justice Center to address this issue by training judges through our Psychiatric Leadership Group.

By providing specialized training to psychiatry residents and medical students interested in serving minority communities, the Minority Fellowships Program (MFP) endeavors to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in mental health and substance abuse care.

All of these, and other, diversity populations need your help. When you make a donation to our annual fund, or one of these or other specific diversity programs, you provide funding that makes a difference.

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If you, or someone you know is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, click here for a list of resources.