The Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice
The roots of the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health & Social Justice (formerly the American Orthopsychiatric Association, or Ortho) are grounded in interdisciplinary approaches to mental health and social justice. The organization informs policy, practice and research to prevent behavioral health disorders and to promote conditions to ensure that people with disorders can be full participants in society. We are further committed to
- Analyzing concerns using a lifespan approach to development and a social determinants framework to understand the bidirectional influences between individuals' development and their surrounding environment;
- Focusing on populations that are vulnerable or marginalized by policies, practices, attitudes, and institutional structures;
- Emphasizing effective strategies for promotion of health and prevention of behavioral disorders as well as intervention and treatment;
- Embedding our work in principles of human rights, including nondiscrimination, respect and dignity, and fairness;
- Applying principles of social justice to policy development, community action, systems change, and clinical practice;
- Partnering with organizations and individuals globally to achieve the greatest impact in accomplishing our mission.
Over its history, our organization has provided a common ground for collaborative study, research, and knowledge exchange among individuals from a variety of disciplines engaged in prevention, treatment, and advocacy around concerns important to the fields of mental health and social justice. We focus on the application of research, particularly its implications for informing practice and policy; health-related issues, broadly defined; and expanding knowledge related to mental health and human development from a multidisciplinary perspective.
Over its 9+ decades of existence, the Global Alliance’s membership has included professionals and students in medical anthropology, counseling, economics, education, epidemiology, ethics, family studies, health promotion, law, justice studies, medicine (e.g., primary care specialists; pediatrics; psychiatry), nursing, pharmacology, political science, prevention science, psychology, public administration, public health, religious studies, social planning, social work, and sociology.
The multidisciplinary nature and applied foci of both the Global Alliance and SCRA suggest that they are well-suited for a potential partnership. Moreover, the shared values around equity and social justice are core emphases that strengthen a potential alignment.
B Stigma-Free is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to creating a more courageous society where all people are respected and treated fairly, and where differences are valued. We bring together divergent groups, and educate and engage through storytelling to reduce bias and prejudice. Typically efforts like these channel messages to like-minded people. We help groups break out of their silos to help people overcome fears and increase understanding of differences.
We are organizing collaborations both nationally (http://bstigmafree.org/our- work/partners/) and locally to facilitate our partners’ messaging, reaching new audiences through cross-pollination. Our goal is to use in-groups to overcome out- group bias. To start, we ask to list each other as partners with mutual links on our respective websites. From there a partnership between SCRA and B Stigma-Free might include community engagement through webinars, Twitter chats, or panel discussions, participation in conferences or our planned summit for Cross-Identity Collaboration™, awareness campaigns and more. We also look forward to the opportunity to connect with and support the work of SCRA members.
B Stigma-Free is a national non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that helps create a kinder society so people with differences are accepted, respected and included for who they are. Through Cross- Identity Collaboration™ we partner with our stakeholders to educate and engage the community to reduce bias and prejudice.
A society where all people are respected, and where people can feel safe and included just b’ing themselves.
- Stigma is the attitude that a person is unacceptable because of a difference, such as an attribute, trait or disability.
- Stigmas are fueled by negative stereotypes. They are dehumanizing and can lead to discrimination.
- Stigmatization leads to isolation, and it interferes with a person’s ability to fully meet one’s individual needs and be a productive member of a community.
- Through compassionate and tolerant outreach, education and dialogue, we acknowledge the painful experiences of those who are stigmatized and we advocate for the full inclusion, support and well-being of ALL persons.
- We can break down barriers by helping people understand differences through personal stories. These will help people recognize the unintended consequences of stigma.
- All individuals that feel stigmatized, including but not limited to people having a mental illness, experiencing religious discrimination, racism or weight bias, having HIV/AIDS, a disability or disfigurement, dwarfism, identifying as LGBTQ and others benefit from community engagement and inclusion.
- We believe that education and awareness will expose and reduce stigma in our society, and foster understanding, relatedness and respect.
The Policy, Action and Research Collaborative
The Policy, Action and Research Collaborative (PARC) is comprised of organizations and institutions using collaborative synergies to advance common goals, which focus on:
- collaborating in research and knowledge exchange and mobilization
- addressing the health, social, environmental, political and economic issues affecting communities
- advancing community-driven research and social change
- promoting social justice and partnerships to transform communities and institutions
- strengthening community-based development of human and social capital, to reduce social disparities
- advocating for effective and sustainable initiatives, with respect for cultural context, values, and perspective
- promoting the participation of social service practitioners, educators, and students in facing and addressing the struggles of marginalized and oppressed peoples.
Strategies adopted by PARC and member organizations include:
- preventive and strengths-based approaches to health and mental health
- community based participatory action research
- community-academic partnerships
- empowerment interventions for individuals, organizations and communities
- attending to the diverse needs and interests of all individuals, with particular attention to vulnerable populations and those who have historically been politically marginalized, increasing the capacity of organizations and communities to engage in applied research and organized actions that advance their goals
- supporting the scaling up of successful community-based initiatives
- responding to and initiating connections across coalitions with social movements whose objectives are integral to the achievement of a just and caring society through community-based activism, research, and education.
- using social media and other web-based tools to facilitate: co-sponsorship and dissemination of knowledge, tools, news and educational opportunities to a broader audience; and collaboration between Collaborative participants and communities
- creating and advocating for policies that advance shared goals, and presenting these to relevant policy audiences
- bringing together stakeholders (e.g., funders, researchers, evaluators, policy makers, practitioners, and other community members) to narrow the gap between research (science), policy and practice.
The purposes of this collaborative effort among organizations include:
- influence public and policy and institutional policy to promote health, human rights and social justice
- influence our professions’ orientations to clearly include education, research, and practice at the macro/system level
- promote high quality, cross-disciplinary practice, research and publication/dissemination, including the ability to draw from different strands within our professions
- promote the use of community level interventions as viable and valuable practice models
- promote ongoing communication and accountability across disciplines
- increase efficiency by sharing and exchanging resources among participating organizations
- increase public awareness of the needs for social change and successful efforts to effect change
Policy for Establishing Formal Partnerships
SCRA recognizes that collaborative relationships with other organizations can serve to transcend disciplinary boundaries and increase the effectiveness of the organization. In that spirit, SCRA will consider formal partnership relationships with organizations that share our stated values and are working toward goals consistent with those of SCRA.
Proposed partnership relationships must be approved by the Presidential stream, Secretary, Treasurer, and Administrative Director. Proposed partnerships will be posted to the full Executive Committee for review and comment prior to implementation.
After a new partnership relationship has been approved a statement will be posted to the SCRA Listserv introducing SCRA members to the new partner organization.
Formal partnerships include, but are not limited to, the following activities, with the overarching goal of increasing the effectiveness and visibility of SCRA and its partner organizations:
- Listing partner organizations on a dedicated page on the scra27.org website and allowing those organizations to list SCRA on their materials.
- Co-hosting tracks at organizational conferences, including regional and Eco conferences.
- Co-hosting other events, such as webinars and twitter chats.
- Including appropriate material from partner organizations in the SCRA e-newsletter, on the communitypsychology.com website, and through SCRA social media accounts.
- Advertising our mini-grant programs to members of partner organizations, with the qualification that they must have an SCRA member as lead author on the grant proposal.
- Providing access to the SCRA Rapid Response process to seek SCRA support for public statements or policy actions.
- Cooperating on other types of advocacy efforts.
- Providing an avenue for identifying SCRA members with expertise relevant to the efforts of partner organizations.
- Potentially providing joint memberships or other types of discounts to members of both organizations.
- Advertising the relevant activities of partner organizations via the SCRA listserv and social media channels.
- Identifying SCRA members to act as official liaisons with partner organizations.
Each of these activities would be reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis by the relevant SCRA entity (Committee, Council, Executive Committee, Presidential Stream, or Administrative Director).