Statement on Black Lives Matter

APPA Statement on the Death of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter Protests

We are writing to affirm that we stand in solidarity against racism and inequity in our nation. We recognize the struggles of Black Americans and of other marginalized groups that have been and remain unjustly treated, and we acknowledge the renewed pain provoked by the death of George Floyd, with substantial consequences for mental health. As an organization focused on mental illness, and how we can prevent or treat it, we have a special responsibility to be alert to and combat the injustices associated with racism, especially given the role that stress can play in triggering and exacerbating psychopathology. We know too that access to mental health care is woefully lower in Black Americans than in whites. Today the APPA is actively working to increase diversity within our ranks. In recent years we have increased the participation of Black and Hispanic speakers and attendees. We have established diversity travel awards to support promising junior scientists from underrepresented groups at our conferences. In light of recent events, our Council is evaluating further ways to expand and support APPA participation among marginalized groups. Some of our members are also engaged individually in meaningful social actions to combat racism and violence against Black Americans. To paraphrase the great Black poet of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes, we all sing America, and we all are America. We APPA members know that our mental health is partly shaped by both helpful and harmful environmental forces. Let us strive to make that environment as fair and just as it can be, for all Americans, regardless of the color of their skin, the origin of their name, or the creed that they follow. APPA President James Potash, MD, MPH, and the APPA Council