Pathways to Equity: Community Response to Trauma


The last decade has brought about discussions of inequities in health. In addition, communities are becoming more aware of trauma and its impact. Unfortunately, there has been less discussion of inequities in mental health and the role that trauma plays in these inequities, as well as those noted in physical health. This presentation attempts to highlight areas of inequity in mental health among marginalized communities, linking these inequities to trauma. The presentation ends with a discussion of strategies for addressing trauma and mental health inequities in marginalized communities.

Learning Objectives

  1. To discuss the areas of inequity in mental health in marginalized communities.
  2. To describe how trauma, including historical trauma, contributes to inequities in mental health in these communities.
  3. To outline the role of mental health organizations and practitioners in achieving equity in response to trauma in diverse communities.

Vetta Sanders Thompson, PhD is a Professor at the Brown School and a member of the Institute for Public Health.  Her research focuses on racial identity, the implications of race and culture for mental health and health promotion, utilization of services and determinants of disparities and inequities among ethnic minorities. Dr. Thompson has completed funded research examining cultural competence in the provision of mental health services, colorectal cancer screening promotion and HPV attitudes and vaccination in the African American community. Dr. Thompson is a licensed psychologist and health service provider in the state of Missouri. She is an Associate Editor for PsycCritiques, member of the Editorial Board of Annals of African-centered Psychology and served on the Editorial Advisory Board of a Turbulent Voyage: Readings in African American Studies.

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