At the beginning of the year 2021, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the American Psychiatric Association (APA), which happens to be the “oldest national physician association in the country, proposed crucial steps in addressing racism in psychiatry” (APA, January 18, 2021).
Their announcement is a significant step toward “making amends for both the direct and indirect acts of racism in psychiatry.” The APA Board of Trustees offered apologies for prejudicial actions relating to medical racist practices in psychiatric treatment for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
APA stated they would identify, understand, and rectify their past injustices and develop anti-racist policies that promote equity in mental health for all.
According to APA, “Early psychiatric practices laid the groundwork for the inequities in clinical treatment that have historically limited quality access to psychiatric care for BIPOC.”
Unfortunately, APA’s historical practices influenced more significant social issues,” such as race-based discrimination and racial injustice, that have furthered poverty along with other adverse outcomes.”
APA (January 18, 2021) reports that “since the APA’s inception, practitioners have at times subjected persons of African descent and Indigenous people who had a mental illness to endure known abusive treatments, undue experimentation, and victimization in the name of “scientific evidence.” Sadly, APA reports that “race-based discrepancies in health care also exist in medical practices today as evidenced by the variations in schizophrenia diagnosis between white and BIPOC patients.”
The American Psychological Association also acknowledged its apology to the public. The American Psychological Association (November 3, 2021) apologizes for contributions to the structural racism nation and pledges to enact corresponding anti-racist practices.
Hostetter and Klein (January 14, 2021) report that “Dr. Laura Bogart, Ph.D., a social psychologist and senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation, researched the effects of medical mistrust. She determined that the “mistrust is not just related to past legacies of mistreatment but also stems from people’s recent experiences of discrimination in health care, such as inequities in access to health insurance, health care facilities, and treatments to institutional practices that make it more difficult for Black Americans to obtain care.”
We hope this apology will be a turning point as we strive to make the future of healthcare more equitable for all. Cherry (March 5, 2022). “It is important to note that the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association both share the acronym APA.
The American Psychological Association is bigger in terms of membership, while the American Psychiatric Association is the publisher of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.”One newly created company headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, in July 2021 is Idhini Incorporated.
Idhini Incorporated was founded by Mr. Gerard Charlot and Mr. Trevor Alexander. Idhini Inc., recognizes the history and wants to help correct the many years of distrust by building a community of users nationally as a trusted source of information.
The company seeks digital health care options and will begin to partner with biopharma, academic institutions, hospitals, and medical practices for transparent strategic healthcare. The market-driven digital platform of Idhini Inc., will create a marketplace for patient advocacy, health literacy, and access to specific beneficial clinical trials which may not have been as accessible in the past.
Idhini Inc. attempts to correct many of the distrusts in the BIPOC community toward the medical community.
The Narrative Matters!
- APA (January 18, 2021). APA’s Apology to Black, Indigenous and People of Color for Its Support of Structural Racism in Psychiatry. https://www.psychiatry.org/newsroom/apa-apology-for-its-support-of-structural-racism-in-psychiatry
- Cherry, K. (March 5, 2022).What Is the American Psychological Association (APA)? What Is the American Psychological Association? (verywellmind.com)
- Hostetter, M. and Klein, S. (January 14, 2021). TRANSFORMING CARE
Understanding and Ameliorating Medical Mistrust Among Black Americans. https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/newsletter-article/2021/jan/medical-mistrust-among-black-americans
- Idhini Incorporated Website www.idhini.co
- Pruitt-Young, S. (November 3, 2021).American Psychological Association says it’s sorry for perpetuating systemic racism. https://www.npr.org/2021/11/03/1051992407/american-psychological-association-apology-for-systemic-racism-apa