World Mental Health Day Spotlights Social Disparities

World Mental Health Day

Plus: Palo Alto University launches digital therapy program, and healthcare organizations seek treatment personnel

By Darya Daneshmand

New & Next: Community

World Mental Health Day

Ingrid Daniels, Ph.D., president of the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH), announced that this year’s theme for World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10 will be “Mental Health in an Unequal World.” The theme was chosen by a vote of global stakeholders, advocates and members of the WFMH.

“The world is increasingly polarized, with the wealthy becoming wealthier [and] the number of people living in poverty notably increasing,” Daniels said in a statement. “The increase in poverty and its devastating social determinants for mental health [have] been further exacerbated by the socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Growing inequalities due to race and ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, lack of respect for human rights, and stigma and discrimination against people with mental health conditions have created visible societal divide and injustices. Such inequalities have had a direct impact on people’s mental health in every country.”

In May 2021, governments from around the world addressed the need for stronger and more equitable mental health services at the World Health Assembly and endorsed the World Health Organization’s (WHO) updated Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2030, which is now available.

WHO is providing new materials on how to care for your own and others’ mental health, showcasing ongoing global initiatives and posting testimonies on its site. Check out campaign materials here.

New & Next: Industry

Palo Alto Training Program

Palo Alto University in California is now offering a training program called Foundations in Digital Therapy for incorporating digital tools and technology into therapy. The program covers topics including the risks and benefits of digital therapy, available apps and intervention strategies, the relevance of social media, and ethical and legal issues. Interested parties may register individually or for a group.

New & Next: Job Opportunities

Howard Center

Howard Center

The Howard Center, with several locations in Vermont, has openings for a clinical director and clinical supervisor for its Chittenden Clinic Opioid Treatment Program. The team takes an interdisciplinary approach to client care. Candidates for the position of clinical director are expected to have a background in clinical leadership and medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Apply here.

Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is seeking an addiction medicine licensed mental health therapist in Los Angeles to provide chemical dependency (CD) services and psychotherapy to adults, adolescents and family members of patients struggling with CD. Other responsibilities include performance of intake and higher-level evaluations, presentation of educational lectures, and various mentor functions. Interested candidates with at least two years of postgraduate clinical experience in the chemical dependency treatment field, a master’s degree in behavioral health and a California LMFT license can apply for the position here.

Photo: Emma Simpson