Social Determinants of Mental Health and First Episode Psychosis: Seeking Mental Health Equity

Although there is increasing awareness of the social determinants of mental health, the intersection of social determinants and first-episode psychosis is still a developing field. This presentation will highlight the growth in the field and the increasing complexity that must be considered as it relates to structural racism and oppression. Evidence of the role of social determinants of mental health in driving inequitable outcomes in first-episode psychosis will be discussed. Finally, solutions for improving outcomes and achieving mental health equity will be considered. 

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Define key concepts associated with the social determinants of mental health
  2. Evaluate recent evidence of the role of social determinants in driving first-episode psychosis outcomes
  3. Identify solutions to achieving greater equity in first-episode psychosis outcomes


About the Presenter:

Ruth Shim, MD, MPH (she/her) is the Luke & Grace Kim Professor in Cultural Psychiatry and Professor of Clinical Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, Davis. She also serves as Associate Dean of Diverse and Inclusive Education at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. Dr. Shim received an MPH in health policy from Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and an MD from Emory University School of Medicine. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Scientific Advisory Council of Bring Change to Mind, an organization co-founded by actress Glenn Close to reduce stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness. She serves on the Research and Evaluation Committee of the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission.

She serves on the Editorial Boards of JAMA PsychiatryPsychiatric Services, Community Mental Health Journal, and American Psychiatric Publishing, and is co-editor of the books, The Social Determinants of Mental Health, and Social (In)Justice and Mental Health. Dr. Shim is an at-large member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Forum on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders. In 2021, she was the recipient of a NAMI Exemplary Psychiatrist Award and the UC Davis Health Deans’ Award for Excellence in Mentoring. She was named a Top 20 Black Change Maker of 2023 by The Sacramento Bee. Dr.

Shim provides clinical psychiatric care in the UC Davis Early Diagnosis and Preventative Treatment (EDAPT) Clinic.

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