February 13, 2024 APPA Webinar
What We Do and Do Not Know About
Social Determinants of Mental Health: 
Addressing Gaps in Our Knowledge and Practice

Speaker:  Dilip V. Jeste, MD
Date:  Tuesday, February 13, 2024
Time:  2:00 pm EST - 3:30 pm EST
Location:  Zoom
Cost:  FREE for both APPA Members and Non-Members


Social determinants of health (SDoHs) are receiving growing attention at various levels. There is now a nearly universal agreement about the serious impact of these factors on health and longevity. Yet, major gaps remain in our understanding of how they affect health, including mental health (SDoMH). There is currently no standardized definition of SDoMH; as a result, the number of listed social determinants varies widely. Few validated and pragmatic measures exist for assessing individual SDoMHs that are used routinely in clinical practice. Similarly, our understanding of the biology of many SDoMHs is limited.

Promising strategies are emerging that can help reduce these knowledge gaps. Collaborations among international experts in relevant psycho-bio-social fields and in clinical care and public policy areas are likely to provide insights that can lead to improved health of individuals with, or at risk of, developing mental illnesses. There are also “positive” SDoMHs that contribute to better physical, mental, and cognitive health. This webinar will describe a few examples.


Dilip V. Jeste, MD, is Director of the Global Research Network on Social Determinants of Mental Health and Exposomics, President-Elect of the World Federation for Psychotherapy, and Editor-in-Chief of International Psychogeriatrics. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, and past president of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). He recently chaired the APA Task Force on Social Determinants of Mental Health. 



On December 1, 2023 APPA hosted a webinar titled
"Psychopathology and/or resistance strategies:
Revisiting the usefulness of diagnosis for youth externalizing disorders in situations of structural violence" 

Thank you for all who joined the webinar.  
To watch the recording of the webinar, CLICK HERE

The over-representation of racialized minorities, first-nations youth, and some refugee samples among individuals with conduct disorder and adolescent-onset conduct disorder suggests that sociocultural factors may shape behaviors and that some externalizing behaviors may constitute idioms of distress and of resistance.

Based on a literature review and clinical cases, this webinar will explore the sociocultural biases inherent in the epidemiology of externalizing behaviors in children and youth and address the need to account for structural violence when assessing and conducting interventions with youth presenting with conduct and oppositional behaviors. The present political context and institutional emphasis on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion policies may represent a timely opportunity to examine some of our professional blind spots regarding youth externalizing behaviors. This will help us determine whether these behaviors constitute at times normal responses to a society perceived as unfair and discriminatory towards one’s family and community.

Date:  Friday, December 1, 2023
Time:  2:00pm ET
Location:  Zoom
Price:  FREE for APPA Members and Non-Members

Dr. Cécile Rousseau, MD is a professor in McGill University’s Division of Social and Cultural Psychiatry and holds a Canada Research Chair in the prevention of violent radicalization. She has worked extensively with immigrant and refugee communities, developing specific school-based interventions and leading policy-oriented research. Presently her research focuses on intervention and prevention programs to address social polarization and violent radicalization. 

Dr. Pascal Chavannes, PsyD, MD is a 2nd generation immigrant of Haitian descent, a clinical and forensic psychologist, a psychiatrist and a child and adolescent psychiatry resident who has worked for several years with immigrant and refugee communities. His work focuses on better understanding and helping marginalized youth and their families to offer care, prevent further discrimination, and foster alternatives to help avoid violent radicalization.


Replay will be made available in the Webinar Archives


The precision medicine revolution has progressed more slowly in psychiatry than other areas of medicine. In this presentation, I argue that this is because the focus of precision psychiatry up to now has been on under-powered studies of biomarkers predicting differential responses across psychotropic medications. Such studies have a very low likelihood of yielding useful information, especially given the lack of substantial variation in mechanisms of action of comparator interventions. However, there are other great unexplored opportunities for precision treatment planning in psychiatry. An overview of these opportunities is presented here along with discussion of some illustrative ongoing studies.

Ronald C. Kessler, PhD, McNeil Family Professor, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard University


Replay Available in the Webinar Archives

Beginning with a philosophical/conceptual level discussing integrative pluralism, hoping to show the challenges of this approach but the substantial dangers of hard reductionism and speculative emergentism. Followed by a review of empirical studies of the actual nature of psychiatric research as it is currently practiced. Lastly, a demonstration, through a range of empirical studies, of the potential complexities of the joint actions of genetic and environmental factors on psychiatric disease risk and how these might be captured by specific study designs.


Kenneth S. Kendler, MD, VCU Health


Replay Available in the Webinar Archives

Implications for Timing of Interventions
Overview of temporal trends including seasonal, monthly, weekly, and diurnal patterns in suicide, along with dynamics into studies of the prevention or treatment of suicide.


Randy P. Auerbach, Ph.D., Columbia University
Hilary Blumberg, MD, Yale School of Medicine
Andrew Leroux, Ph.D., University of Colorado


Replay Available in the Webinar Archives

An Introduction to Their Potential Interactions: Almost all biological functions are modulated by the circadian clock(s) over 24 hours. It is not surprising that pathologies show circadian characteristics and, vice-versa, that circadian clock(s) may change with pathology. The network of circadian physiology and behaviors interacting with the natural and the social environment is highly complex. One could therefore argue that the clock-pathology interactions are similar across many illnesses. I will introduce chronobiology and specifically to the circadian clock(s) and present examples of association between clock and psychiatric pathologies.


Professor Till Roennenberg, Institute of Medical Psychology at Ludwig-Maximilian University (LMU) in Munich, Germany