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Mental Health Goes to School Podcast: Increasing Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity in Mental Health w/ APF Executive Director, Damian Travier


“Black, LatinX, Indigenous, and other marginalized communities have historically been under-resourced in mental health services, and school settings reflect that. The average number of students managed by each psychologist or counselor is 1200 or more – leading to deeply inadequate supports for mental health needs. Furthermore, the ranks of mental health professionals working in these communities typically don’t reflect the diversity of people they serve. Equity in resources and diversity in the workforce are fundamental problems in marginalized communities; today’s guest and the organization he leads are dedicated to building solutions.

Damian Travier is the Executive Director of Access Psychology Foundation whose mission is to, “Increase access to proven, successful mental health interventions for underserved, racially diverse populations by directly providing treatment scholarships and by growing and diversifying the provider community trained in these interventions.” The five Access Psychology programs focus on different aspects of the mission, all with real effects that ripple out to the families, schools, and wider communities where these programs are in place. Damien walks us through how the Foundation scholarships to individuals and families for evidence-based treatment, post-graduate and clinician training in CBT and DBT models, high school and college internships, and training for entire schools or organizations are helping to build better mental health access for communities where it has not been available.

Damian shares how his experience in equity in education led him to this work on equity in mental health. He believes focusing on student mental health, at all levels, can only improve educational outcomes for all.”