Social (In)justice shapes development while driving both mental illness and mental health inequities in youth. Just as children and adolescents' personal and family history is needed in order to understand and then address mental health symptoms, those who serve black youth also must learn (or, more accurately, relearn) our society’s history and structural injustices to effectively transform its systems. Substantial progress toward mental health equity will not come overnight or without struggle, but in the absence of knowledge about social injustice, it certainly will not come at all.
1. Identify the relevance of social justice in children's mental health in order to re-examine psychological development, health, and illness in the context of U.S. society
2. Discuss the impact of social hierarchies on diagnostic processes and classifications in order to better serve and support black youth
3. Self-evaluate the concept of social justice advocacy in order to identify action steps that can be taken to advance justice and, in turn, black youth mental health.
Sarah Y. Vinson, M.D., F.A.P.A. is a physician who specializes in adult, child & adolescent, and forensic psychiatry. She is the founder of the Lorio Psych Group, an Atlanta, GA-based mental health practice providing expert care and consultation. Dr. Vinson is also the founder of Lorio Forensics, which provides consultation in a wide variety of cases in criminal, civil, and family court cases. After graduating from medical school at the University of Florida with Research Honors and as an Inductee in the Chapman Humanism Honors Society, she completed her general psychiatry training at Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School. While there, she also received specialized training in trauma through the Victims of Violence Program. She then returned to the South to complete fellowships in both child & adolescent and forensic psychiatry at Emory University School of Medicine.
In addition to providing mental health care services such as psychotherapy, consultation, and psychopharmacology through her private practice, Dr. Vinson is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at Morehouse School of Medicine. Just two years after joining the faculty she was honored as Psychiatry and Faculty of the Year in 2015. She is also Adjunct Faculty at Emory University School of Medicine. She has been elected and/or appointed to national and statewide office by her professional peers. She is the Past President of the Georgia Council on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Treasurer of the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association. Additionally, she is an Advisor for the Judges Psychiatry Leadership Initiative. She has been a speaker at national conferences including the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Annual Meeting, and The National Urban League Annual Meeting. Dr. Vinson has received numerous awards in recognition of her service and leadership including the University of Florida College of Medicine Outstanding Young Alumna Award and the APA Jeanne Spurlock Minority Fellowship Alumna Achievement Award.