The Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice (formerly the American Orthopsychiatric Association) is a compassionate community of individuals and organizations dedicated to informing policy, practice and research concerning behavioral health, social justice, and well-being. 

International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

In the words of our 2019 Vera Paster award winner, Jill Fish:

"Today, August 9th, is the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. We - Indigenous peoples - exist all over the world, with rich cultures and Indigenous People's Dayhistories dating long before colonization. This is the part of the story that people “kinda, sorta” remember - what happened to “the Indians” when Columbus came is often a story of the conquered and the conqueror. Not only is this story one very small part of a much larger story, but it’s also completely false. Indigenous peoples were and continue to be fierce protectors of our land, rights, and the environment. Take, for example, the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaiʻi - land that holds great spiritual and cultural significance to Kānaka ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiians). Kia’i (protectors) have been unwavering in defending sacred Mauna Kea and their sovereignty for their community and future generations, enduring a long-range acoustic device (i.e., a sound cannon) and arrests from militarized police. See, we - Indigenous peoples - are not merely of the past; we are of the present and of the future. Being the author of our own stories, rather than the subject of dominant narratives, gives us the power to place our cultures and histories at the center of our development and achieve a more nuanced understanding of what it means to be Indigenous in the modern world. These are our some of our stories."

AJO Cover

In this Issue

Highlights from the Latest AJO
Volume 89, Issue 5  

Special Issue: Sociocultural Factors and Mechanisms in Alcohol Use


Lui, P. P., & Zamboanga, B. L. (2019). Ethnocultural diversity in alcohol use and misuse. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 89(5), 543-548.

Meca, A., Zamboanga, B. L., Lui, P. P., Schwartz, S. J., Lorenzo-Blanco, E. I., Gonzales-Backen, M. A., . . . Lizzi, K. M. (2019). Alcohol initiation among recently immigrated Hispanic adolescents: Roles of acculturation and sociocultural stress. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 89(5), 569-578.

Banks, D. E., Winningham, R. D., Wu, W., & Zapolski, T. C. B. (2019). Examination of the indirect effect of alcohol expectancies on ethnic identity and adolescent drinking outcomes. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 89(5), 600-608.

and more.....

AJO in the news! Check out this news story referencing an AJO article to learn how views of mental illness differ based on ethnicity, race, and gender in young teenagers. Find the full article here

Catching up with our Members


The Global Alliance will be represented by Gita Jaffe (Senior Policy and Global Affairs Advisor), Cynthia Taylor Handrup (President-Elect), and Evelyn Tomaszewski (Global Mental Health Task Force co-chair) at the United Nations High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage this September in NYC. With the theme “Moving Together to Build a Healthier World”, the UN High Level Meeting will be an opportunity to advocate for Universal Health Coverage and to mobilize political attention to the cause. The Global Alliance’s priority is to champion the inclusion of mental health care in Universal Health Care, as mental health is a human right. Learn more about the UN High Level Meeting here.

#HealthForAll #GA4UHC

Let us know what you're doing at [email protected]


 Check out our most recent policy resolutions! 

We've been busy this summer, working on five new policy resolutions. Make sure you take a look and let us know if you'd like to join with us in our work on Immigration, LGBTQ+ rights, or Global Mental Health. #GAinAction #ThinkAboutPolicy

 National Suicide Prevention Month 

Suicide Hotline

Suicide continues to be a leading cause of death across the world with over 800,000 deaths yearly or one suicide every 40 seconds. Youth are particularly impacted by suicide, with the rates of death by suicide among adolescents and young adults increasing over the past decade. According to the Youth Risk Behaviors Survey, 7.4% of high school students report having made at least one suicide attempt during the past year. As the Lancet Commission points out, investment in the well being of children and adolescent is a vital step in addressing Global Mental Health. 

This year’s theme is “Working Together to Prevent Suicide,” which highlights a key ingredient in suicide prevention: collaboration. When it comes to preventing youth suicide, an important step is to listen to the voices of youth and to work towards positive change alongside them. Take a minute to listen to the voices of youth as they talk about mental health and suicide prevention.

  • Sadie Penn shares her story and advocates for “shattering the silence” around youth suicide. 
  • is a Canadian organization that trains and empowers youth to revolutionize mental health and dismantle barriers to positive mental health in their communities. Rachel writes about the importance of being there for someone struggling with mental health as part of the organizations “Be There” campaign. 
  • Active Minds has over 450 chapters on college campuses that organize awareness campaigns, host events, and advocate to start the conversation about suicide and mental health. Members share the reasons that they speak out about mental health and suicide.