Decolonizing and Unsettling
Mental Health

A Webinar Series

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This Is A
'Pay-What-You-Can'
Course...

We believe that the wisdom shared in this webinar series is important - therefore, this series is offered through a Pay-What-You-Can model, in order to be more accessible. There are 12 pricing options, ranging from $25 - $300, for you to choose from based upon your individual situation. A portion of the profits gained through the full "Pay-It-Forward" price will go towards BIPOC students and facilitators of the Academy.

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Presenters

Rashaad Abdur-Rahman, MSSW

Founder + CEO, Racial Healing Project

Dr. Richard Q. Shin

University of Maryland, College Park

Dr. China Mills

City University London

Dr. Elisa Lacerda-Vandenborn

University of Calgary

Pinar Ateş Sinopoulos-Lloyd

Co-Founder, Queer Nature

Dr. Tone Rawlings

Founder, Decolonize Your Heart and Mind

Learning
Objectives

  1. Gain an understanding of how settler colonialism informed/s the mental health system we have today.
  2. Review theories and definitions of what decolonizing mental health means and how this topic relates to multiple aspects of mental health i.e. academic field, clinical practice, policy creation, etc.
  3. Understand how the demographics of mental health educators and practitioners, as well as the lack of culturally competent education, contribute exclusionary and harmful practices and experiences in mental health fields.
  4. Evaluate your roles and experiences within the discussion of harmful mental health practices and decolonization of mental health.
  5. Understand, through personal anecdote and statistical research, how individuals, groups, and communities have been negatively affected and harmed by the institution of mental health and its practices.
  6. Explore the multi-layer and intersectionality of the decolonization of mental health and other aspects of society and culture i.e. capitalism, public service systems, legislations, etc.
  7. Review the history and evolution of social justice scholars and mental health education.
  8. Review the context of mental health and the decolonization of mental health on a global scale.
  9. Understand the disconnect between mental health theories of support, clinical practice, boundaries, standards, etc. and the real world experiences of clients and clinicians, and the impact that this disconnect has on treatment.
  10. Understand that despite the importance of these discussions, there is no single checklist of goals to achieve decolonization of mental health but instead a multi-layered, long-term process of work to transform our current systems.
Although the western medical model has dominated cultural understanding of mental health since its inception, there is a growing awareness of the need to include diverse voices and experiences in the treatment and healing process.

There is very little training in formal education, or professional dialogue, today on the ways that settler colonialism informed/s the mental health system. In many cases, traditional forms of therapy feed into ideas of neoliberalism that disregard the context in which communities of color face racism and systemic discrimination. This cultural lens perpetuates harmful treatment protocols, ideology, and interventions for populations that is not white, heteronormative, and middle/upper class disproportionately.

The aim of this series is to start a conversation about what decolonizing and unsettling mental health entails with speakers from a variety of fields, perspectives, and global orientations. We view decolonizing and unsettling mental health as a both personal and professional practice and process, not simply a theory or item to check off on your competency check list. We hope this series of talks offers an opportunity to learn, challenge, and transform our current systems of oppression and its effects on bodies and minds.
"Our minds must be as ready to move as capital is,
to trace its path and to imagine alternative destinations."

-Chandra Talpade Mohanty
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Rashaad Abdur-Rahman, MSSW

Founder + CEO, Racial Healing Project

Rashaad Abdur-Rahman's (he/him) personal mission statement is to work boldly to achieve racial and social justice. He has competed executive training in leadership at Harvard's Cross-Sector Partnerships course, the National Council for Behavioral Health clinical models including EMDR, TF-CBT, Seven Challenges, Trauma Informed Care, and Motivational Interviewing.

He received his Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Berea College, and his Masters in Science and Social Work from the University of Louisville's Kent School of Social Work in 2008. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Social Work at Spalding University. Rashaad has worked in the field of child and family mental health mental health services in various roles as a direct care counselor, case manager, therapist, consultant, trainer, supervisor, and program administrator. In addition to these roles, he has served as the Director of the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods in Louisville, KY and currently works at the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services as an Executive Advisor.

Rashaad is the Founder and CEO of the Racial Healing Project, a company dedicated to helping groups, businesses, and organizations develop comprehensive processes and infrastructure to integrate an anti-racist paradigm that is results driven. The Racial Healing Project provides training, organizational change management, and strategic planning to cross sector organizations (government, philanthropy, non-profit, private, etc.) nationally.

He has been an adjunct professor at Spalding University, and guest lecturer at Berea College, Western Governors University, University of Louisville, and the University of Kentucky. He also serves as co-chair of the Metro United Way Black L.O.V.E Philanthropic Partnership.

Rashaad believes deeply in the power of community and that in order to foster the equitable and transformative society that we all deserve, we must work tirelessly to secure racial, economic, and social justice.

Pinar Ateş Sinopoulos-Lloyd

Co-Founder, Queer Nature

Pinar Ateş Sinopoulos-Lloyd (they/them) is an Indigenous multi-species futurist, mentor, consultant, and eco-philosopher; Co-Founder of Queer Nature, an "organism" stewarding earth-based queer community through ancestral skills, interspecies relations and rites of passage.

Enchanted by the liminal, Pinar is a future transcestor of Wanka Quechua, Turkish and Chinese lineages. A central prayer that guides them is envisioning decolonially-informed queer ancestral-futurism through multi-species accountability and the remediation of human supremacy in the Chthulucene. Their prismatic writing is fed by this prayer and is rooted in multi-gender/multi-cultural/multi-racial parallel realities as a neurodivergent. They are in a lifelong apprenticeship to the ecotone of the riparian systems.

Their relationship with queerness, hybridity, neurodivergence, Indigeneity, and belonging guided their work in developing Queer Ecopsychology with a somatic and depth approach through a decolonial lens. As a survival skills mentor, one of their core missions is to uplift and amplify the brilliant "survival skills" that BIPOC, LGBTQ2SIA+ and other intersectional systemically targeted populations already have in their resilient bodies and stories of survivance.

They were the 2020 recipient of Audubon National Society's National Environmental Champion as well as R.I.S.E. Indigenous 2020 Art and Poetry Fellowship. Pinar is the founder of @indigenousqueers; founding Council Member of Intersectional Environmentalist; trans ambassador of Native Womens Wilderness; and a founding member of Diversify Outdoors coalition. They are also adjunct faculty at the WE Immersion at Weaving Earth and facilitate and design multi-day programs at Colorado College and the University of Colorado Boulder with their other half/co-visionary partner/Co-Founder of Queer Nature, So Sinopoulos-Lloyd.
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Dr. Richard Q. Shin

University of Maryland, College Park

Dr. Richard Q. Shin (he/him) is an associate professor in the Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education department in the College of Education at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the coordinator of the School Counseling program and holds affiliate appointments in Counseling Psychology, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Asian American Studies. Dr. Shin is also a Core Research Scientist in the University of Maryland Prevention Research Center. His scholarly interests are primarily focused on how systemic, institutionalized forms of discrimination like racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ableism, and cissexism are perpetuated by mental health professionals in subtle and overt ways.

Dr. Shin is a leading social justice scholar in the counseling and psychology fields. His article, "Is Allison more likely than Lakisha to get a call back from counseling professionals: A racism audit study" was the first study using audit methodology to be published in counseling psychology. Dr. Shin also published the first content analysis in psychology on the intersectionality framework, as well as developed a comprehensive measure of critical consciousness. Dr. Shin's teaching, research, and consulting are guided by a commitment to create a more just and equitable society for devalued and marginalized groups.

Dr. China Mills

City University London

Dr. China Mill's (she/her) research traces different facets of the global mental health assemblage. She explores the ways diagnoses travel and circulate around the world, and what happens when issues such as distress, suicide, or terrorism get framed as global public health challenges. Her work looks into how the psy-disciplines and psychotropic drugs function in local and global contexts of entrenched inequality, chronic poverty, (neo)colonial oppression, border imperialism, and increasingly under the politics of austerity. China also carries out critical research into suicides linked to welfare reform, economic reform, immigration detention, and corporate practices, and is a member of the Critical Suicide Studies Network.

China is the Principal Investigator on a British Academy grant looking at the 'social life' (production, circulation, use, and resistance) of global mental health technologies designed to be used all over the world. She was also Principal Investigator on a previous British Academy grant researching the use of behavior change technologies in India, South Africa, and Australia. China's funding enables her to work alongside Dr. Eva Hilberg, a postdoctoral researcher, also based at City.

In 2014, China published the book 'Decolonizing Global Mental Health: the Psychiatrization of of the Majority World' (Routledge), which draws on research with NGOs and user-surviving organizations in India, and analyzes global mental health policies as forms of colonial discourse. Since her book, she has published widely in leading journals, including: Critical Public Health; Globalization and Health; Critical Sociology Policy; and Sociology of Health and Illness. China's research has been featured in the Indian Express, Discover Society, the Conversation, Mad in Asia, and the Weeks Centre for Social Policy.
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Dr. Elisa Lacerda-Vandenborn

University of Calgary

Dr. Elisa Lacerda-Vandenborn (she/her) was born and grew up in Curitiba, Brazil and made Canada home in 2004 Dr. Lacerda-Vandenborn's research focuses on philosophical and theoretical ideas about the self; how these are interpreted and translated into social institutional practices, beliefs, and legislation and the social implications associated with them. She critiques individualistic approaches in favor of more communal perspectives of selfhood in learning, teaching, and research, particularly for education, counseling psychology, and child welfare. This ontological work is closely related with issues of relational and situated epistemologies, community-led, based, and participatory methodologies, and communal axiological principles in the social sciences.

Dr. Tone Rawlings

Founder, Decolonize Your Heart and Mind

Dr. Tone Rawlings (they/them) is an artist, scientist, educator, and guide that helps people decolonize the heart and mind so they can tap into their higher wisdom and unwind from White-supremacy culture to heal the soul wound.

They work with individuals, organizations, and companies. Included in their is a curriculum and practices to guide people to identify, track, and heal internalized White-supremacy constructs that get passed down through intergenerational conditioning and epigenetic trauma.
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