Mental Health
Section Newsletter
Winter 2007

Message from the Chair

Happy New Year!

As we enter 2007, the Mental Health Section has both an exciting and busy year ahead.  Our November meeting was very successful, and I hope that we can continue to make positive changes for the Section in the next year. I would like to give everybody a quick outline of events to come.  You will continue to hear from me regularly, but here is where we are right now:


Everybody Check Their Membership!

As usual, I would like to remind every Section member to log on to the APHA Web site and check your contact information and status of membership - even if you think it's correct.  A correct e-mail is particularly crucial, because all of our correspondence with the Section relies upon e-mail contact.  It only takes a few minutes but could make a world of difference to the Section. 


Contribute to the Newsletter!

The next issue of the Section newsletter will be coming out in the summer.  If you have items of interest, contact Arturo Cervantes at . Don't think you have anything to contribute?  Consider the following: do you have a new training grant, fellowship, or job opening? Give us the relevant information,  and we will post it.  Have you had publications in peer-reviewed journals in the past few months that you are particularly excited about? Send us a link to the pdf file.  Are you looking for collaborators? Write us a short blurb on your work with contact information.  Are you involved in any advocacy or policy issues at the national level? Consider writing a short piece on the issue and how people might contribute. 


Some upcoming efforts in the Section

            There are some exciting things happening this year.  Here is a brief list:

  • David Mandell is continuing to work to establish our mentoring program.  He is planning to submit a proposal for funding in the spring.  Please keep an eye on developments in this program and encourage students, fellows, and junior faculty to take advantage of the unique opportunity to gain valuable assistance from experienced Section members.
  • We have some interesting plans for the booth, including reducing the amount of paper (transferring our available materials to cds that can be distributed to booth visitors); adding some color; providing that most precious commodity at conference centers, bottled water; and maybe even getting a comfy chair or two.
  • Michael Blank continues to spearhead a valiant effort to allow public mental health workers more access to the Section and Association.
  • We have constituted a Policy Committee to review all of our sponsored policies with Governing Council and re-write, archive, and consolidate as needed.
  • Ron Manderscheid and Constella, as a result of their panel discussion in November, are urging APHA to take up the issue of electronic and personal medical records by, among other things, establishing a work group and convening a summit on the issue, possibly in November. More on this as things develop.
  • David Mandell and I are considering crafting a proposal that outlines APHA policy on ethics reviews of research data presented at the annual meetings.  If interested in thinking about this with us, let me know.
  • I am beginning to establish a fund-raising effort that will help the Section to sponsor student activities, sponsor consumer attendance and participation, provide travel expenses for honored guest speakers and award winners, and cover the expenses of our Social. If you, or your organization, might be interested in making a tax deductible contribution to help the Section, please let me know.

That is it for now.  You will hear from me again soon.  In the meantime please feel free to contact me about Section matters.  Cheers for a happy and healthy 2007!


Rani A. Desai, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Public Health
Yale University School of Medicine
950 Campbell Avenue
West Haven, CT 06516
(203) 932-5711 x3615
(203) 937-3463 (fax)

Members' News

On Dec. 13, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  People with psychiatric disabilities are covered on an equal basis with others in this first human rights treaty of the 21st century.  The World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (section member Sylvia Caras is a board consultant) played an active role.

How to Prevent, Respond to, or Mitigate the Mental Health Consequences of Disasters

Since Sept. 11, 2001, disaster response has become a major public health priority for the country. The National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health takes seriously its role in preparing the public health work force and communities to face possible catastrophic events, while helping to integrate preparedness efforts into the nation’s existing infrastructure.


Founded in 2003 under the direction of Irwin Redlener, MD, associate dean for public health advocacy and disaster preparedness at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, The National Center for Disaster Preparedness is a recognized leader in preparedness and develops model preparedness programs that are being replicated by partners across communities locally, nationally and internationally.


The National Center for Disaster Preparednes' mission is to be an academically-based resource center dedicated to the study, analysis and enhancement of the nation's ability to prepare for and respond to major disasters, including terrorism. The Center has a wide-ranging research, training and education, and advocacy agenda. Center researchers are studying the responses to September 11, Katrina, and other disasters, including the tsunami in Southeast Asia and the potential for pandemic flu, to secure important information for policy change and the creation of new response models to help governments, first responders and individuals be better prepared for future crises.


To assist the nation in enhancing its capacity to adequately respond to a disaster, The National Center for Disaster Preparedness has trained over 15,000 responders in public health preparedness, incident management, and weapons of mass destructions, among other topics. To learn more about the National Center for Disaster Preparedness please visit For further information, please direct correspondence to Paula A. Madrid, Psyd., Director, The Resiliency Program, National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University,

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Research in Mexico City. Interships are Available.

Mexico City’s Anahuac Institute of Public Health joined the Program on International Child and Adolescent Mental Health, initially founded by Drs. Donald Cohen and Mary Schwab-Stone of the Yale Child Study Center.  The international research team is formed by Vladislav Ruchkin of Arkhangelsk, Russia (now at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden), Robert Vermeiren of Antwerp, Belgium (currently on faculty at the VU University medical center, the Netherlands), and Andrés Martin of Mexico City (now on faculty at the Yale Child Study Center).


ISPA joined the international multidiscilpinary research team in order to participate as a local counterpart to the Social and Health Assessment (SAHA) project, an international survey assessing risk and protective factors for adolescent problem behaviors. With this effort, Mexico joins eight other countries - Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Iran, Korea, Russia, Surinam, and the United States of America that have already collected the data, with five more countries to follow - Albania, Gambia, Japan, Lithuania, and Serbia. 


ISPA has undergone implementation of SAHA in Mexico during 2004, 2005 and 2006, surveying more than 3,500 middle and high school students at public and private schools. Derived from multiple key informant interviews and focus group studies, the SAHA survey instrument was complemented with a set of questions dealing insecurity, kidnapping and robbery, issues which are of main concern in Mexico City.


Starting in March 2007, with the participation of five medical students from Vrije Universitat in Amsterdam, research interns from Anahuac University Medical School and from Harvard College, ISPA will conduct a third wave of SAHA at several public and private schools in Mexico. This time there will be close to 6,000 students participating, which will add interesting perspectives to our multi-national research. Data analysis promises interesting results that are being prepared for publication and to inform policy and local intervention programs. Using the new cohort of the Mexican SAHA, our team will aim to compare the effect and influence of socio-economic and cultural aspects on the social development and mental health of adolescents.


If you are interested in participating in a research internship in Mexico or learning more about SAHA in Mexico, please contact Arturo Cervantes, MD, MPH, DPH, Professor and Chair of Public Health, Anahuac Institute of Public Health,

APHA Student Assembly Alumni Database

This year, the APHA-Student Assembly Opportunities Committee provided more resources to students regarding scholarships, conferences, job postings, potential employers, and fellowships/internships. In addition to these endeavors, the committee revamped the Student Assembly Alumni Database. The Alumni Database is meant to not only allow the Student Assembly to keep track of their past members, but it also provides current and potential students access to learn about possible careers in the public health field.  


To access the Alumni Database, students can visit and click on the Opportunities Committee Web page. Here students can look at job positions that public health professionals currently in the field hold. Prospective public health students could access this database and view jobs that people with public health degrees have to gain a better understanding of the wide variety of career paths available to them. Alumni range from recent graduates working in fellowships or entry-level positions to seasoned health professionals with well-established research agendas.


The Student Assembly Opportunities Committee co-chairs are working to increase participation of Student Assembly alumni in the Alumni Database. Anyone who at one time was a member of the Student Assembly (previously entitled Public Health Student Caucus) can visit the Web site, complete the form available on the Opportunities Committee webpage ( and return it to This endeavor depends on the cooperation of the alumni. With APHA Student Assembly alumni support, the Database can become a wonderful resource for the next generation of public health students. We hope you will consider taking a few moments to add yourself to the Alumni Database. 


If you have any questions or want more information, please feel free to contact Jennifer Cremeens or Anna Pollack, the Opportunities Committee Co-Chairs at

Employment Opportunity

Florida Mental Health Institute is searching for a new Dean

The Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, at the University of South Florida, is currently searching for a new Dean. The Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) is one of the largest behavioral health (including alcohol, drug abuse, mental health) service and research centers in the United States. The FMHI includes three departments; Child and Family Studies, Mental Health Law and Policy, and Aging and Mental Health. It receives over 42 million dollars in funding annually, employs 135 faculty (representing 21 disciplines) and   195 staff.  For information contact Roger A. Boothroyd, PhD., Associate Chair and Professor, Department of Mental Health Law and Policy at the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute;

NRI 2007 Conference on Mental Health Services Research

NRI is accepting proposals for the 2007 Conference on Mental Health Services Research, Program Evaluation and Policy.   The 2007 conference theme is “Applied Research and Evaluation Outcomes to Enhance Mental Health Services”. The concurrent sessions will discuss important topics in mental health service provision and how mental health care should be personalized, accountable and relevant for the future. Some of the themes that will be covered include: Improving Linkage Between Mental Health And Juvenile Justice; Interventions to Reduce Alcohol Use Among Persons with Severe Mental Illness and Criminal Justice Histories; Emerging Best Practices in Person-Centered Services; Promising Practices in Behavioral Health Quality Improvement; and Analysis on the Interdependence of Health and Mental Health, among others. Information on the conference is available at, or contact the Conference Manager, Vera Hollen at , (703) 739-9333 Ext. 116.

Post-Doctoral Fellowship Opportunity in Behavioral Health Policy and Research

The Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research, University of Pennsylvania, invites applications for one- and two-year post-doctoral fellowships jointly developed with the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health. The program integrates behavioral health policy and services research training at the Center with related policy development and analysis at Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health. This program offers abundant opportunities for research and evaluation in both settings.


The program is designed for individuals who have completed all doctoral degree requirements and who aspire to academic careers or leadership positions in public behavioral health systems. Opportunities exist to acquire or refine skills pertaining to the design, delivery and evaluation of publicly funded mental health and substance abuse services. The program provides an excellent opportunity for Fellows to gain experience in applying qualitative and quantitative research methods to the evaluation of behavioral health services, systems and policies. Fellows will help develop policy initiatives and study the organization, financing, delivery and outcomes of care in the public sector.


For additional information, please contact: Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research, University of Pennsylvania, Phone: (215) 662-2886, Fax: (215) 349-8715, Email:

Nominations for Awards

The Mental Health Section seeks nominations for the Mental Health Section Award and the Carl Taube Award.   The Mental Health Section Award recognizes contributions to the work of the Section. The Carl Taube Award recognizes individuals for significant contributions to the field of mental health services research. Nominations for these awards are due by May 5, 2007. Please include: (1) the name of the award for which you are nominating the person, (2) the reasons that the nominee should be granted the award, and (3) a copy of the nominee's curriculum vita.


Letters of nomination should be mailed or e-mailed to:  Huey J. Chen, Department of Mental Health Law and Policy, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, MHC2705, University of South Florida, 13301 Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, Tampa, FL, 33612-3807.  E-mail:

Section Leadership 2007


Rani A. Desai, PhD MPH

MH Chair

Term Date 12/15/2005 - 11/7/2007

Yale University

950 Campbell Avenue


West Haven, CT  6516


Phone:  (203) 932-5711 ext3615

Fax:  (203) 937-3463


David S. Mandell, SCD

MH Chair-Elect

Term Date 12/15/2005 - 11/7/2007

Univ of Pennsylvania

3535 Market St

Rm #3019

Philadelphia, PA  19104


Phone:  (215) 662-2504

Fax:  (215) 349-8715


William H Fisher, PhD

MH Immediate Past Chair

Term Date 11/9/2006 - 11/7/2007

U Mass Medical School

55 Lake Ave North

Worcester, MA  1655


Phone:  (508) 856-8711

Fax:  (508) 856-8700


Newsletter Editor

Arturo Cervantes, MD, MPH, DPH
Anahuac University
Av. Lomas Anáhuac s/n
Colonia Lomas Anahuac
Huixquilucan, Estado de México, 52786

Phone:(52-55) 5627-0210 Ext. 8430
Fax:(52-55) 5627-0210 Ext. 7250


Governing Council

Michael Blank, PhD

MH Governing Councilor

Term Date 11/10/2005 - 11/7/2007


University of Pennsylvania

3535 Market St Rm 3020

Philadelphia, PA  19104-3309


Phone:  (215) 349-8488

Fax:  (215) 349-8715



Lisa B. Dixon, MD, MPH

MH Governing Councilor

Term Date 12/15/2005 - 11/7/2007

6433 Lochridge Rd

Columbia, MD  21044-4032


Phone:  (410) 328-6325

Fax:  (410) 328-1212



Douglas P. Gibson, PsyD, MPH

MH Governing Councilor

Term Date 11/8/2006 - 10/29/2008

Virginia Commonwealth Universi

PO Box 980268

Richmond, VA  23298-0268


Phone:  (804) 828-4919

Fax:  804-828-0220



Section Council

Jim Banta, PhD, MPH

MH Section Councilor

Term Date 11/8/2006 - 11/11/2009

Loma Linda University

26490 Veronica Ct

Loma Linda, CA  92354


Phone:  (909) 558-7753

Fax:  (909) 558-0469



Sylvia Caras, PhD

MH Section Councilor

Term Date 11/11/2004 - 11/7/2007

People Who

146 Chrystal Terrace 5

Santa Cruz, CA  95060-3654


Phone:  (831) 426-5335



Michael L Haney, PhD, LMHC, CCI

MH Section Councilor

Term Date 11/8/2006 - 11/11/2009

Florida Dept of Hlth

4052 Bold Cypress Way

Bin A06

Tallahassee, FL  32399


Phone:  (850) 245-4217

Fax:  (850) 414-7350



Paul G. Stiles, JD, PhD

MH Section Councilor

Term Date 11/11/2004 - 11/7/2007

Dept Mental Hlth Law & Policy

De La Parte Florida Mental Health Inst.

13301 Bruce B. Downs Blvd

Tampa, FL  33612-3807


Phone:  (813) 974-9349

Fax:  (813) 974-6411



Rebecca White, MPH

MH Section Councilor

Term Date 12/15/2005 - 10/29/2008

Arizona State University

PO Box 2502

Tempe, AZ  85287-2502


Phone:  (480) 727-6134

Fax:  (480) 965-6779