From the Inaugural Newsletter:
It has become apparent in recent months that there exists a pressing need to address issues around social justices, implicit and explicit bias, and structural racism that are pervasive within foundational policies and institutions of our country. These need to address these issues extends to STEM education, healthcare delivery and access, and specifically mental health care. The impact of destructive, deep rooted institutional policies in mental health care has also been highlighted in many venues in recent months by the APA and AACP, and AACAP, among others. Indeed, long-standing issues of racism, segregation, poverty, exposure to violence including police violence, food and housing insecurity, and criminalization of mental health are deeply linked to increased risk for, and morbidity and mortality from mental illness, and therefore affect us profoundly as mental health care providers. we have an obligation to address these additional issues as providers of mental health care. Therefore, we have formulated the following consensus statement and supported the formation of a Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice Committee for the VUMC Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
Departmental Position Statement
The Vanderbilt University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences condemns behaviors, practices, and policies that perpetuate racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and other issues that target members of our community. Such discrimination and bigotry unjustly contribute to medical and psychological morbidity, economic inequality, and mortality. The Department is committed to ending these behaviors, practices and policies by providing an inclusive and supportive environment for our faculty, staff, and trainees, and also advocating for change in our community to facilitate better care and outcomes for our patients. This work will be facilitated by the Departmental Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice Committee