April 23, 2012

APA Marks Mental Health Awareness Month with Focus on Immigrant and Child Mental Health Issues

Traumatized children and health care disparities among immigrants are issues that will be spotlighted during Mental Health Awareness Month

WASHINGTON—The American Psychological Association will spotlight a range of issues including traumatized children and health care disparities among immigrants in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month in May. Activities include:

Wednesday, May 9

Congressional Briefing Addressing the Mental Health of America’s Immigrant Population

Cannon House Office Building, Room 234, 3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

This APA briefing will highlight the Report of the APA Presidential Task Force on Immigration, with task force members discussing federal policy initiatives that support education and training in psychology to work with immigrants and for humane detention requirements and family reunification.


  • Melba Vasquez, PhD, APA past president, will moderate and discuss her initiative to create the APA Presidential Task Force on Immigration.

  • Carola Suárez-Orozco, PhD, New York University, task force chair, will speak about demographics, trends and misconceptions about immigrants in the United States.

  • Dina Birman, PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago, will speak about educational disparities among certain immigrant communities.

  • Usha Tummala-Narra, PhD, Boston College, will speak about mental health disparities among certain immigrant communities.

National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, Rayburn House Office Building

Room B-318, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m.

APA is supporting this congressional briefing, which will focus on the needs of children who have experienced trauma, emphasizing the role of juvenile justice, child welfare, education and military family programs in their recovery.


  • Anthony P. Mannarino, PhD, APA member, director, Center for Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents, will speak about the impact of child trauma, the work he and his colleagues have done in the development and dissemination of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, the most widely used and effective evidence-based treatment for children affected by trauma, and the contributions of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

**For more information on National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day events, please contact SAMHSA's press office**  

Wednesday, May 16

Blogging for Mental Health

APA continues its annual “blog party” for mental health. Psychologists writing for APA’s public education blog, Your Mind, Your Body, invite people to share their stories related to mental health and emotional wellness. Writers are encouraged to blog about mental health-related topics and use a specially created graphic. More information is available on the blog party page.

Monday, May 21

Bridging Across Generational Lines Within Asian-American Families

Chinatown Community Cultural Center, Washington, D.C., 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

APA will host a panel discussion highlighting mental health issues among Asian immigrant parents and children in an effort to reduce the stigma associated with mental health concerns in the community. APA’s Office of Ethnic and Minority Affairs is partnering with the Washington, D.C., mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs for this event

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 137,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare.