MayaTech Recognizes World Mental Health Day
October 10 Marks Global Commitment to Prioritizing Mental Health Care
Silver Spring, MD (October 8, 2021) - With the global pandemic continuing into its second year, The MayaTech Corporation acknowledges World Mental Health Day, as we work each day to ensure minority and marginalized communities have awareness of and access to mental health services.
Recognized on October 10 by the World Health Organization (WHO), World Mental Health Day highlights a renewed commitment “among government leaders to make quality mental health care for all a reality.” According to WHO, the COVID-19 pandemic “has had a major impact on people’s mental health,” in addition to a significant disruption of mental health services.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic—much like the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the opioid crisis—disproportionately impacted Black, brown and Native-American communities, MayaTech has remained on the frontline of public health research and solutions to address these disparities,” said MayaTech President Valerie Spencer. “MayaTech takes pride in being a minority-owned and minority-focused company, working across various sectors to improve public health outcomes for marginalized and oppressed communities.”
Nevertheless, more work remains to be done, especially as it pertains to mental health for minority populations. According to “Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General”, “racial and ethnic minorities have less access to mental health services than do whites, are less likely to receive needed care, and are more likely to receive poor quality care when treated.”
Several of MayaTech’s projects are directly impacting the mental health space, with recent highlights including:
- Entering the fourth year of support for SAMHSA’s Minority Fellowship Program (MFP), addressing behavioral health workforce challenges through grantee partnerships. Through the MFP Coordinating Center, MayaTech is providing technical assistance, training, and consultation to MFP grantees/fellows, supporting resource development, and fostering a cross-disciplinary learning community.
- Supporting The Association of Black Psychologists, Inc. (ABPsi)—in partnership with The Alliance of National Psychological Associations for Racial and Ethnic Equity and the National Urban League, as commissioned by the Congressional Tri-Caucus—in conducting an online survey of nearly 2,500 Blacks/Africanas for ABPsi’s national needs assessment of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on mental health in Black communities. ABPsi members, including MayaTech staff, presented findings and policy recommendations this past summer at professional conferences, before the Congressional Black Caucus, and to the White House COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. ABPsi will publish papers in a special issue of the Journal of Black Psychology and will use the findings to develop community-focused programs.
- Publishing insights for advancing public health equity during the pandemic, as featured in the Professional Services Council’s quarterly magazine.
- Publishing an MFP newsletter and webinar on prioritizing self-care.
“MayaTech will do all we can to ensure that equity is the ultimate goal,” Spencer said. “Until everyone has the opportunity for mental health equity, we still have much work to do.”
About MayaTech: Since 1985, The MayaTech Corporation has focused on tackling existing and emerging public health challenges through direct engagement with agencies, governments, communities,and individuals. We provide a suite of research, training, evaluation, capacity-building, and other strategic support services aimed at reaching and impacting vulnerable populations, amplifying best practices, and innovating the practice of public health. Learn more at mayatech.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.