247664 An innovative approach to promoting equity and addressing disparities: The National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Behavioral Health

Monday, October 31, 2011: 11:15 AM

Larke Nahme Huang, PhD , Office of Policy Planning and Innovation, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, MD
Trina Dutta, MPH MPP , SAMHSA, Rockville
Mental health and substance use disparities among underserved populations are complex, intractable social problems that often defy precise definition and transcend policies and services. Social determinants of health, traditional systems approaches contribute to behavioral health disparities, and historical issues have made it difficult for diverse communities to work collectively. These problems defy single-agency or “silo” approach and therefore require innovative, collective approaches to address disparities in diverse populations.

The NNED, an innovative, top-down, bottom-up initiative, is engaging local communities from a national level, through a technology-supported network in a meaningful, low-cost, and sustainable way. The NNED brings together community- and ethnic-based organizations and knowledge institutions to share and promote policies, standards, research and innovative practices to eliminate behavioral health disparities in diverse racial, ethnic, cultural and sexual minority communities.

Communities are at the center of the network, where their knowledge is systematically gathered, analyzed and shared with others. Since 2007, the NNED has engaged 350 organizations and 350 individual members.

The NNED: - provides opportunities for stakeholder partnership/collaboration in special projects that support the mission of the NNED; - Offers stakeholders opportunities to connect on best practices and innovative strategies - 13 learning clusters, linking 160 community partners, have been convened on topics related to behavioral health inequities; - Offers professional development opportunities on evidence-base programs and practices - disseminates information and resources through its interactive website, social networking tools, and an electronic newsletter; and - uses innovative technology and web-based applications to support its national network.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the benefits of network structures as a way to address disparities in behavioral health 2. Identify the opportunities for: stakeholder partnership/collaboration and identifications of pockets of excellence; training and TA of cultural, indigenous, and community-based best practices; and dissemination of knowledge, expertise, and skills 3. Demonstrate the innovative technology and web-based applications used to support the national network

Keywords: Underserved Populations, Community-Based Partnership

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Huang is a licensed clinical-community psychologist, is the Senior Advisor to the Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)/Office of Policy Planning and Innovation. She provides leadership on national policy for mental health and substance use services for children, adolescents and families. She is the Director of the newly formed Office Behavioral Health Equity/SAMHSA. Huang has worked at the interface of practice, research and policy and in leadership roles dedicated to improving the lives of children, families and communities. She was a community mental health practitioner, faculty at UC Berkeley, Georgetown University, and the American Institutes for Research, has worked with states/communities to build systems of care for children, developed and evaluated programs for underserved youth, and numerous authored books/articles. Huang served as a Commissioner on the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health and is a member of the Carter Center Mental Health Task Force. She received her doctorate from Yale University.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.