Division of Outreach


The purpose of the Division of Outreach is to expand and coordinate activities of the Department of Psychiatry and NBS that reach beyond the clinical facilities of the Department into the larger community. This activity is bidirectional, not only introducing mental health care into the world outside the clinic, but also to familiarize the Department of Psychiatry and NBS with the needs and life world of the various communities with which the Department of Psychiatry and NBS comes in contact. Community entails not only geographically proximate communities, but also regional, national, and international communities. For all of these we hope to become a part of the community, playing an important role, as well as interrogating the quality and impact of our connection.


In the last two decades it has become clear that the mental health of individuals is intimately tied to the health of their community. Mental health care limited to in-patient units and clinics is not adequate to maximize the mental health of populations. Mental Health Care and Prevention needs to address the social determinants of mental illness in a culturally appropriate and sensitive manner. This requires working with and in communities of concern. Communities at increased risk for mental health problems are those which are often underserved, oppressed, and stigmatised , limiting access to standard mental health care. The Division of Outreach is concerned with efforts to promote mental health within the local and larger world community in an effort to assure that all have access to a fulfilling and meaningful life.


Through the use of personal connections aided by advances in technology the Division of Outreach aims to:

  1. Understand the needs and life world of allied communities, bringing this understanding into the clinical operations of the Department of Psychiatry and NBS in order to promote culturally appropriate, equitable, and inclusive mental health care.
  2. Promote mental health through primary, secondary and tertiary prevention.
  3. Increase access to expert mental health care within communities.
  4. Ally with communities to address structural inequalities and social determinants of mental illness.
  5. Focus on communities which have traditionally been underserved, oppressed, neglected, and discriminated against, resulting in decreased access to resources, including adequate access to mental health care.

These aims will be advanced through:

  1. Personal connections with allied communities through the construction of collaborating networks of individuals and organizations.
  2. Community based research aimed at delineating the needs and lived worlds of various allied communities to inform clinical efforts and structural competence.
  3. The use of televideo and other technology to connect individuals and communities with mental health providers, education, and resources.


  1. Promote Community and Department cooperation to expand essential mental health services to all members of the community.
  2. To build alliances with other partners focusing on community health, promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  3. Advance the use of technology to address the mental health needs of communities.
  4. Promote the education of mental health providers of many fields to include an understanding of the impact of contextual processes, such as history, environment, economics, culture, social structure, politics, structural racism and discrimination, on the nature, severity, meaning, and treatment of mental distress.