White Institute Calendar

White Society Colloquium: Social Justice and Mental Health

Date: 17 2021 20:00

Social Justice and Mental Health


Sunday, January 17th




Ruth Shim, MD


*This event will be held via Zoom


Register Here


Social justice entails equal access to liberties, rights, and opportunities, as well as care for the least advantaged members of society. Unfortunately, in the United States, a perfect storm of unfair and unjust policies and practices, bolstered by deep-seated beliefs about the inferiority of some groups, has led to a small number of people having tremendous advantages, freedoms, and opportunities, while a growing number are denied those liberties and rights. This presentation will examine the development of social injustice in mental health, and consider how psychotherapy has helped to perpetuate mental health inequities to preserve the unspoken social order in the United States. Additionally, solutions for dismantling structural racism and social injustice in mental health will be discussed.



Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

Define key concepts associated with social justice and mental health
Consider examples of how traditional psychotherapy modalities have preserved social injustice
Identify solutions to dismantle social injustice in mental health


About the Speaker


Ruth Shim, MD, MPH, is the Luke & Grace Kim Professor in Cultural Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. She is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Director of Cultural Psychiatry, and Chair of the Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Faculty Excellence in Diversity at UC Davis Health. 


Dr. Shim received an MPH in health policy from Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and an MD from Emory University School of Medicine. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Association for Community Psychiatry. She serves on the Research And Evaluation Committee of the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission. 


She serves on the Editorial Boards of Psychiatric Services, Community Mental Health Journal, and American Psychiatric Publishing, and is co-editor of the book, The Social Determinants of Mental Health, and the upcoming book, Social (In)Justice and Mental Health, to be published in early 2021. She is a 2018-2019 Fellow of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program, and an at-large member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Forum on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders. Dr. Shim’s research focuses on mental health disparities and inequities, and she provides clinical psychiatric care in the UC Davis Early Diagnosis and Preventative Treatment (EDAPT) Clinic.