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Eliminating Race-Based Mental Health Disparities

Promoting Equity and Culturally Responsive Care across Settings

edited by Monnica T. Williams, Daniel C. Rosen & Jonathan W. Kanter

New Harbinger Publications
Initial publish date
Nov 2019
Clinical Psychology
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2019
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Eliminating Race-Based Mental Health Disparities offers concrete guidelines and evidence-based best practices for addressing racial inequities and biases in clinical care.

Perhaps there is no subject more challenging than the intricacies of race and racism in American culture. More and more, it has become clear that simply teaching facts about cultural differences between racial and ethnic groups is not adequate to achieve cultural competence in clinical care. One must also consider less “visible” constructs—including implicit bias, stereotypes, white privilege, intersectionality, and microaggressions—as potent drivers of behaviors and attitudes.

In this edited volume, three leading experts in race, mental health, and contextual behavior science explore the urgent problem of racial inequities and biases, which often prevent people of color from seeking mental health services—leading to poor outcomes if and when they do receive treatment. In this much-needed resource, you’ll find evidence-based recommendations for addressing problems at multiple levels, and best practices for compassionately and effectively helping clients across a range of cultural groups and settings.

As more and more people gain access to services that have historically been unavailable to them, guidelines for cultural competence in clinical care are needed. Eliminating Race-Based Mental Health Disparities offers a comprehensive road map to help you address racial health disparities and improve treatment outcomes in your practice.

About the authors


  • Unknown, Doody’s Special Topics Lists: Health Equity

Contributor Notes

Editor Monnica T. Williams, PhD, ABPP, is a board-certified clinical psychologist and associate professor at the University of Ottawa in the school of psychology, where she holds the Canadian Research Chair for Mental Health Disparities. She received her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Virginia, where she conducted research in the areas of major mental illness, tests and measurement, and ethnic differences. She has started clinics in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, and a refugee mental health clinic in Kentucky. Her clinical work and research focus on African American mental health, culture, trauma, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Williams serves on the scientific advisory board of the International OCD Foundation, where she cofounded their diversity council. She is on the editorial board of several scientific journals, and is currently associate editor of the Behavior Therapist and New Ideas in Psychology. Williams has published over one hundred peer-reviewed articles and book chapters focused on psychopathology and cultural differences. She gives diversity trainings nationally. Her work has been featured in several major media outlets, including NPR, CNN, and The New York Times.
Editor Daniel C. Rosen, PhD, is chair and professor in the department of counseling and health psychology at Bastyr University, and director of The Daniel K. Church Center for Social Justice and Diversity. He earned a PhD in counseling psychology from Arizona State University after completing his predoctoral internship at the Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology at Boston Medical Center/Boston University School of Medicine. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship in the behavioral medicine program at Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School. Rosen’s scholarship is focused in multicultural psychology, and has explored issues of social justice in mental health, addressing disparities in access to and quality of mental health services; and anti-Semitism-related stress. He has a private practice in Seattle, WA.
Editor Jonathan W. Kanter, PhD, received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Washington in 2002, and then moved to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he spent several years collaborating closely with members of the Black, Latinx, and Muslim communities on issues of social and political activism (including police brutality and voter rights), racism and discrimination, and culturally appropriate treatments of depression. In 2013, Kanter came to the University of Washington to direct the Center for the Science of Social Connection (CSSC), where he approaches projects with a contextual behavioral science (CBS) model that integrates disciplines—including evolution science, neuroscience, anthropology, and psychology—within a behavioral science foundation. Kanter is regularly invited to give talks and workshops nationally and internationally on topics of interest to the Center, including anti-racism workshops, workshops for therapists on how to improve psychotherapy relationships and help clients with relational problems, and culturally tailored behavioral treatments for depression.
Foreword writer PatriciaArredondo, EdD, NCC, has published extensively on cultural competency models and guidelines, Latinx mental health, women’s leadership, and organizational change through diversity. She is a scholar-practitioner, and multicultural competency and social justice advocate. Arredondo is a licensed psychologist, has been a full professor and senior administrator at research universities, and president of a professional school of psychology. She is a fellow of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American Psychological Association (APA). She was named a Living Legend by the ACA, and Changemaker: Top 25 Women of Color Psychologists by the APA.

Editorial Reviews

“Race-based trauma has defined our collective history, and remains a daunting challenge to contemporary sociopolitical relationships and individual well-being. Eliminating Race-Based Mental Health Disparities addresses this reality head-on by expanding and deepening our understanding of the psychological impacts of racism, the debilitating role of bias, barriers to access, and implications across multiple treatment settings. This is an invaluable resource for all mental health professionals in the twenty-first century who righteously aspire toward culturally responsive and affirming best practices.”
Anatasia S. Kim, PhD, associate professor at The Wright Institute, and coauthor of It’s Time to Talk (and Listen)

“This book is needed more than ever in today’s current sociopolitical landscape, and will remain essential reading so long as we live in a diverse and multicultural society. Its thoughtful examination of the current state of disparities faced by people of color lays the groundwork for evidence-based strategies to guide individual practitioners and training programs. This book has taken the most complex and difficult social issues of our time, and provided a critical framework to understand and approach the work. Woven beautifully throughout, empirically sound strategies—fundamental to any practitioner new to the field, or experienced veteran—provide the tools for culturally responsive care.”
Christy Matta, MA, is a health manager at Stanford’s Health Improvement Program, an instructor for Stanford’s BeWell Program, and author of The Stress Response

“This edited book is a primer on not only what race-based mental health disparities ‘look like’ in the real world, but also (and more importantly) how clinicians can address these disparities in our everyday mental health practice, research, education, training, and advocacy. In an era where anti-Blackness, anti-Latinx, anti-immigrant sentiments, and more are escalating these disparities, this book is a practical guide for next steps for countering these negative messages and developing a more racially just world.”
Anneliese Singh, PhD, LPC, professor and associate dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the University of Georgia, and author of The Racial Healing Handbook and The Queer and Transgender Resilience Workbook

Eliminating Race-Based Mental Health Disparities not only meets the editors’ goal of being both ‘timely and timeless,’ but also seamlessly weaves the theoretical with the practical, and the empirical with the clinical. Breadth and depth are demonstrated by documenting epidemiological and structural inequities alongside specific advice about how to restore social justice in clinical settings and other institutions. I spend a good deal of my professional time consulting with mental health agencies about how to meet the needs of their diversifying client base. This is a book that will put me out of business!”
Nnamdi Pole, PhD, professor in the department of psychology and social work at Smith College in Northampton, MA

Eliminating Race-Based Mental Health Disparities does an excellent job of addressing the impacts of racism on the mental health of people-of-color communities. The editors did an excellent job of speaking to the need for self-reflection, cultural humility, and interrogating one’s privilege in the context of mental health care. I would highly recommend this book as a primer for all clinicians, researchers, and trainees in the social sciences.”
Sand Chang, PhD, (they/them), Chinese American nonbinary psychologist, educator, and advocate based in Oakland, CA; and coauthor of A Clinicians Guide to Gender-Affirming Care

“This is the most comprehensive book addressing race-based mental health disparities and promoting culturally responsive care that I have had the privilege to read. The editors, ranging from senior experts to graduate students with new perspectives, cite compelling evidence on the underestimated impact of racism in multiple contexts. Grounded in science and cultural humility, they provide multidimensional models, best practices, and personal road maps so we can work collectively to achieve mental health equity across settings. This volume belongs in the library of anyone who yearns to make a difference personally or professionally.”
Mavis Tsai, PhD, coauthor of A Guide to Functional Analytic Psychotherapy, and research scientist and clinical faculty at the University of Washington

“A timely, pragmatic, and exquisite resource for students, teachers, researchers, and practitioners who are seeking an empirically sound, current book that captures the layered complexity and urgency to address mental health disparities for people of color. This book is a scholarly masterpiece; a courageous deep dive into the morass of historical and contemporary sociopolitical issues that create and sustain barriers to mental health for marginalized populations, and particularly for clients of color. Williams, Rosen, and Kanter set a high bar for those who are committed to understanding and meeting the challenges of learning, teaching, and practicing with cultural humility, deep empathy, and equity for all.”
Olivia Moorehead-Slaughter, PhD, Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology (CMTP) Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center

Eliminating Race-Based Mental Health Disparities provides an extensive, much-needed exploration of intrapersonal, interpersonal, institutional, and structural sources of race-based inequity and harm in clinical and education settings, as well as evidence-based practices for promoting equity and culturally responsive care. Every clinician, educator, researcher, and person in training should read this book. Readers will learn realities that all mental health professionals and educators (and citizens) need to face, and be guided through a host of thoughtful, expansive, anti-racist approaches that range from essential intrapersonal work to structural interventions. I will share this with all my colleagues and trainees.”
Lizabeth Roemer, PhD, professor in the department of psychology at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and coauthor of Worry Less, Live More

Other titles by Monnica T. Williams