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Research and Practice

Social Determinants of Mental and Behavioral Health

Social Determinants of Mental & Behavioral Health Area emphasizes the role of multilevel social and structural factors in shaping mental and behavioral health, such as stigma, social networks, structural racism and policies on housing, drug control, and criminal justice domestically and internationally. This area of concentration also aims to identify determinants of racial/ethnic disparities in mental and behavioral health, inform the development of community, institutional and macro-level interventions to ameliorate disparities in mental and behavioral health, and demonstrates a commitment to community engagement, service and practice, with several students and faculty working in concert with community organizations, agencies and policymakers on efforts to promote equity in mental and behavioral health.

Social Determinants of Mental and Behavioral Health

Our Work in Action

IDEAS (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Antiracism in Science) is a collective of MH faculty, students and staff that are setting goals to take effective action in advancing inclusion, diversity equity and antiracism broadly. This includes facilitating scholarship and training in equity and racism in our Department, the School and throughout the field of public mental health. MH IDEAS will also work to promote research, training and practice in partnership with residents and practitioners in the City of Baltimore and beyond.

circles with words, diversity, inclusion, anti-racism, equity
photo of baltimore row houses
Social Determinants of Mental and Behavioral Health

Our Work in Action

In February, 2020, Baltimore became the first US city to legislate trauma-informed care with the Elijah Cummings Healing City Act. A year later, Baltimore convened its Trauma-Informed Care Task Force. Professors Phil Leaf and Tamar Mendelson; and alum and Associate David Fakunle are members of the taskforce.

Faculty Spotlight

Sachini Bandara

Sachini Bandara

Assistant Professor
Mental Health

Sachini Bandara, PhD ’18, MS, studies how public health policies can improve wellbeing for people who use drugs, have mental illness, or are involved in the carceral system.