SPDC and SNPhA collaborate with Council of Asian Pacific Americans and others to offer free mental health webinar

According to the CDC, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen racial and ethnic minority groups experience disparities in mental health and substance misuse related to access to care, psychosocial stress and social determinants of health.Flier for Our Shared Experience webinar

Combined prevalence estimates of current depression, initiating or increasing substance use, and suicidal thoughts/ideation among U.S. adults 18 or older were 28.6%, 18.2% and 8.4%, respectively. Hispanic adults reported a higher prevalence of psychosocial stress related to not having enough food or stable housing than did adults in other racial and ethnic groups. Addressing these issues during the COVID-19 pandemic is important, as are initiatives tailored for racial and ethnic minority groups.

“Depression and isolation have always been prevalent, even before the pandemic. However, these times have enhanced and intensified depression and isolation, hence the need to address these specific mental states. The pandemic has added distress in the form of family tragedy, increased workload in the workplace, emotional exhaustion, all in addition to the daily stressors of life before COVID,” said Brooke Putrus, Student National Pharmaceutical Association vice president. “Addressing mental health issues in minority populations is extremely important, as these groups do not have the highest social or emotional support as is. In this time, the mental health of minority groups should be addressed, and education is of the utmost importance.”

Given the above, WSU’s Student Pharmacist Diversity Council and the Student National Pharmaceutical Association have teamed up with the Council of Asian Pacific Americans, the University of Michigan Medical School and Madonna University’s Mosaic Scholars to produce a webinar geared toward the mental well-being of young adults.

Our Shared Experience is an educational online event that with explore the role of race and identity on the mental health of young adults. Slated for Tuesday, June 29, from 7-8:30 p.m., this discussion will be led by Dr. Saba Maroof, who is a double board-certified child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist (and Wayne State alum).

“There has never been a better time to discuss these critical issues after a year of COVID, the BLM movement and the spike in AAPI hate crimes,” said panelist Claire Ofiara, director of Madonna University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Also on the panel are student pharmacists from Wayne State’s Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences: Ahyoung “Chloe” Park, SNPhA treasurer and executive board member; Linh Pham, SPDC president-elect; and Joseph Paul Javier, SNPhA president, SPDC vice president and marketing communications co-chair for CAPA.

“SPDC is proud to collaborate with CAPA, SNPhA and our other partners in this timely discussion. Some of us contracted COVID and others did not, but we all experienced a lockdown together. With this lockdown and isolation, depression became prevalent in most of our lives, which has not really been discussed,” said Brooke Penny, SPDC president. “Getting the word out there, providing the proper resources, and having people share their stories will show others that they are not alone. The minority experience during this time should be addressed. We want to give everyone access to the help they need. This is just one of the many ways in which the pandemic has forever changed our lives, and we need to work together to stay on the path of healing from it.”

Learn more about Our Shared Experience and register for free at capa-mi.org.

Return to news