Social Determinants of Health

table with healthy foods and exercise equipment

Social Determinants of Health

Adults and children treated in the public mental health sector face a number of challenges including poverty and social isolation, stigma, obstacles in accessing general health and mental health services, and adverse health behaviors. These difficulties lead to adverse public health outcomes including reduced quality of life and shortened lifespans. Improving these outcomes requires understanding potential facilitators and barriers to the uptake of best practices including state and federal policies, the structure and functioning of public sector delivery systems (including its workforce), and financing.  Implementation strategies that account for systems-level challenges are needed to ensure the uptake of evidence-based practices in public mental health settings. 



Webinar Recordings: 

  • Climate Crisis and Mental Health: In this on-demand recording, Dr. David Pollack discusses ways mental health professionals can play a role in speaking out about climate threats, advocate for rational policies to address the threats to health posed by climate crisis, and facilitate recovery from the immediate and longer term climate crisis related disasters. 
  • Social Cognition and Recovery: The Importance of Sleep - This presentation reviews what we know about social difficulties and sleep disturbances in people with severe mental illnesses and discussed a current study investigating how these two areas may be linked. Future directions for research and clinical practice are also discussed.



  • Mental Health and Climate Change: Climate change is a major social determinant of both physical and mental health. Psychiatric conditions and mental health issues often emerge from and are affected by climate change. This infographic reviews climate change's link to mental health, identifies social determinants of vulnerability or resilience, and suggests actions individuals and communities can take to address climate change and its impacts. 
  • Mental Health and Food Insecurity: Food insecurity, or the reduced ability to find and consume nutritious foods, is a challenge for many individuals and has increased during the Covid-19 pandemic. Current research suggests experiencing food insecurity can effect mental health. This infographic reviews conditions that put individuals at risk as well as potential consequences, including poor mental health outcomes. Steps mental health providers can take to help address food insecurity experienced by their patients are presented.      
  • Social Determinants of Mental Health in the Southeast: The foundation of good mental health is not merely built on access to quality care but also built on the various social conditions impacting daily life.    
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