Task Forces and Committees

Task Forces

We organize task forces and study groups on issues of grave concern to the Alliance. Members are researchers, clinicians, practitioners, students, and policy experts with expertise on the topic. We welcome individuals at various stages in their careers, from across disciplines, and who work in a variety of settings.

Products from the task forces vary depending on the interests of participants. In the past, task forces have developed special issues of the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, policy statements, resolutions, briefs, white papers, and conference presentations.

New members are welcome to any of the task forces! Membership is required to participate in our task forces. Contact us at [email protected] to let us know you are interested.

Learn about our new task force structure here

Currently, task forces are working on the following topics:

Global Mental Health

The Global Mental Health (GMH) Task Force has two subcommittees, GMH Policy to Practice and GMH On the Ground from Local to Global. These subcommittees do not work in silos, but rather will come together regularly to share their efforts, collaborate on the GMH Task Force’s overall Action Plan and disseminate findings.

GMH Policy to Practice will focus on policy (locally and globally) and the intended and unintended consequences. This committee will continue to focus on researching, understanding, analyzing and producing statements for and at the UN, International NGOs, affiliated organizations/institutions and meetings. Other examples of areas of focus include policy processes and policy-related collaborations with other like-minded organizations.

GMH On the Ground from Local to Global will focus on collaborating efforts with stakeholders who are currently working on programming related to global mental health. Developing and sharing lessons learned and assisting with systems and protocols based on collaborative efforts of members. This committee will highlight evidence-based efforts.

Read the Global Alliance statement presented for consideration during the World Health Assembly Listening Session with regards to the Provisional Agenda for the WHO 74th WHA Meeting (May 2021). 

Learn more about the work of the task force.  

Co-Chairs: Edilma Yearwood and Evelyn Tomaszewski

Human Trafficking

The human trafficking task force is focused on the prevention of trafficking of children and youth. Although governments and international organizations have largely endorsed the four elements of an effective response to human trafficking – prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership – prevention has been underdeveloped. The task force has developed a framework, embedded in public health and human rights principles, for prevention. Members of the task force have presented their research on human trafficking at the following meetings: 

  • Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking (2017), Lincoln, NE
  • Congressional Briefing (2017), Washington, DC. (Read the policy brief from the Congressional Briefing.)
  • American Public Health Association Human Rights Forum (2018), San Diego, CA
  • American Public Health Association Mental Health Section (2018), San Diego, CA  
  • In a presentation at the American Public Health Association Human Rights Forum (2019) in Philadelphia, PA, we presented a graphic depicting the key components and strategies for prevention. Learn more about the Primary Prevention Framework and read our white paper.


Chair: Gita Jaffe

Migrants and Displaced Persons

Includes refugees and other people displaced due to violence, persecution, economic instability, food insecurity, and climate change.

A previous task force of the Global Alliance examined the rights and mental health of immigrant and refugee populations. The task force called for the development of comprehensive immigration reform incorporating family-centered policies and promoting family unity. They also emphasized the need for an interdisciplinary dialogue among mental health professionals, child advocates, policymakers, and other stakeholders to address gaps in existing immigration enforcement practices and to prevent, as much as possible, the separation of families. (See our position paper on the Impact of Immigration Enforcement on Children and Families and our resolution on protecting immigrant children and families.)

More recently, the Global Alliance has adopted resolutions on families crossing borders and on the US treatment of refugees. The task force is in the process of identifying the next questions to address related to protecting the rights of immigrant and refugee populations.

Learn more about migrant and displaced persons and our related work under topics

Chair: Jessica Goodkind

LGBTQ+ and Mental Health

Discrimination against individuals identifying as LGBTQ+ has been associated with higher rates of mental health disorders, substance abuse, and suicide. Youth identifying as LGBTQ+ experience higher rates of violence, victimization, and homelessness. The concerns of our members about discrimination against individuals identifying as LGBTQ+ led us to adopt a resolution in March 2017 on protections for transgender studentsThe task force is now identifying the next questions of interest.  

Want more information about the topic in general, research on the topic, or what you can do to help? Click here.

Chair: Virginia Gil-Rivas

Justice Reform 

The Global Alliance formed a task force on mass incarceration in 2015 to address challenges related to the topic. The task force worked on a policy brief on mental health and the criminal justice systemThe GA is particularly interested in the impact of mass incarceration on children and communities. Recently, the GA renamed the task force to Justice Reform Task Force to better capture the direction we are headed.

Check out our latest fact sheet on incarceration and COVID-19 developed in partnership with the Research-to-Policy Collaboration (RPC) at Penn State.

Chair: Cathryn Richmond

Safe and Humane Schools

The primary objective of the Safe and Humane Schools Task Force is to address practices and policies that impact the behavioral health and well-being of students, as well as issues of social justice. The task force grapples with such diverse issues as: school mental health and suicide prevention; the implications of school security measures; bullying and school violence prevention; disproportionate disciplinary practices; trauma-sensitive strategies; and responsiveness to youth who are transgendered.

Chair: Ryan Kilmer

Student and Early Career 

The student and early career task force highlights both the contributions and the needs of students and early career members. The task force identifies topics relevant to these members, such as Policy 101, and ensures that their perspectives are at the forefront of Global Alliance activities, whether it's organizing conference sessions; drafting policy papers, newsletter content, or briefs; or authoring articles for AJO. The task force also provides opportunities for students and early career professionals to engage in association leadership and to develop skills that are useful in the workplace.  

Co-Chairs: Amber Kraft & Cathryn Richmond

Prior Task Forces 

In the past, we have sponsored task forces on Family Homelessness; Children's Rights to Protection of Important Family Relationships; Mental Health and Human Rights; Intimate Partner Violence; and Schools as Places of Community.

Interest Groups

Veterans and Military


CommitteeThe Global Alliance Board of Directors appoints committees to assist in carrying out the business of the association. Global Alliance members are welcome to join these committees. 
Current committees include: 
  • Awards
  • Conference
  • Development
  • Finance
  • Membership
  • Nominations
  • Policy