The Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice was founded in 1923 as the American Orthopsychiatric Association and renamed in 2016. A review of the rich history of our Association and its Journal, the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, reflects a commitment to the needs and rights of people in a society whose voices and identities have been historically marginalized. We strive to strengthen knowledge of evidenced-based, respectful, and culturally grounded behavioral and mental health services; promote mental health literacy; advocate for prevention; provide leadership for social change; and elevate the core interests that are most fundamental to people’s sense of dignity and worth. We acknowledge and respect every individual’s inherent dignity, worth, and uniqueness, and continually work to expand our understanding and awareness of how racism and discrimination operate within society. The Global Alliance recognizes that individual and population well-being cannot be achieved in a society that does not adhere to principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
To ensure diversity, equity, and inclusivity in our organization, the Global Alliance:
- Engages in work and educational activities that reflect our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Promotes diversity on our task forces, committees, and board of directors.
- Offers opportunities to engage all members in the work of the Global Alliance.
- Acknowledges that cultural humility is an ongoing process that requires us to reflect upon our own and society’s pre-existing biases and to challenge all forms of oppression both within and outside of our organization.
- Supports legislation and policies to increase diversity and inclusion in the behavioral health workforce.
- Advocates for research to improve access to behavioral health for all peoples, regardless of personal characteristics and intersecting identities such as race, ethnicity, color, gender, sexual orientation, disability, citizenship, and religion.
- Evaluates and adheres to review protocols that include diversity, equity, and inclusion principles for all policy-related activities prior to approval and/or becoming a signatory to written products.
- Fosters meaningful engagement opportunities for individuals and organizations advocating for human rights, social justice, and behavioral health promotion.
- Creates safe spaces for internal reflection and feedback to hold our organization and members accountable to our values and mission.
- Openly recognizes and works to dismantle systemic oppression in all domains of life.
This statement is a working document and part of a continuing process. The latest revision is from March 2022.