Core Principles to Reframe Mental and Behavioral Health Policy

Historic and modern-day policies rooted in discrimination and oppression have created and widened harmful inequities impacting many communities of color. Effectively and equitably addressing mental health requires intervening at systemic and policy levels to dismantle the structures that produce negative outcomes like generational poverty, intergenerational and cultural trauma, racism, sexism, and ableism. Changing social, economic, and physical environments alongside key mental and behavioral health supports through immediate relief and longer-term fixes impact individual and community mental health and wellbeing. 

Policymakers must look beyond the current system to reimagine what is possible to help communities of color thrive

CLASP's mental health work advances systems and policy change with an explicit focus on how a person's race and ethnicity affects how they interact with the health system.Without a direct understanding of how mental health and wellbeing are seen by those who are living in poverty, we cannot create effective policy solutions.