Filtered by tag: Themes Remove Filter

Mental Health Awareness Month

As the calendar turns to May, it marks the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Month, a crucial period for advocating, understanding, and destigmatizing mental health issues. This year, amidst the ongoing global challenges, the focus on mental health couldn't be more relevant. Mental health is not just a personal issue; it's a universal human right that demands attention, care, and advocacy. It's a reminder that every individual, regardless of their background, deserves access to mental health resources, support, and understanding. Mental health issues often face discrimination, neglect, and lack of resources, hindering individuals from exercising this fundamental human right. One of the primary barriers to mental health care is stigma. Fear of judgment and discrimination prevents many from seeking help or speaking openly about their struggles. In October during LACPA convention Dr. Derald Wing Sue will provide us with the knowledge, skills and tactics that we can use in our continuing efforts to disarm and dismantle racism and bias. 

Access to mental health services is another critical aspect of ensuring mental health as a universal human right. 

Read More

2024 LACPA Presidential Theme: Mental Health as a Universal Human Right

2024 LACPA Presidential Theme: Mental Health as a Universal Human Right
Peyman Raoofi, Psy.D.

Dr. Peyman Raoofi I am honored to serve as LACPA’s president for 2024. My connection to the LACPA community spans over a decade, dating back to 2010, ten years after I emigrated from Iran, and covers nearly my entire career in psychology. LACPA is more than just an organization to me; it's a second family. My journey with LACPA began by serving as the chair of the Student Leadership Committee. In 2011, I received the award for Distinguished Service to LACPA by a Graduate Student. Subsequently, I was elected as Secretary of the Board of Directors. I have maintained my involvement by chairing the Community Outreach Committee. This committee collaborated with the Los Angeles Public Library to organize numerous virtual mental health presentations for the public during the COVID lockdown. I am also grateful for LACPA's support in initiating and executing ten holiday Toy Drives, which have benefited the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital.

Beyond LACPA, I have been actively engaged on a global scale. I have held leadership roles in many non-profit organizations and attended multiple meetings of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. I had the privilege of engaging in face-to-face conversations with two United Nations (U.N.) Secretary Generals in New York. In 2018, I was honored with the Mental Health Heroes Award from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Finally, I participated in an advocacy effort led by the APA Office of International Affairs and the Psychology Coalition at the U.N. and our advocacy bore fruit when our resolution was adopted by the UN General Assembly. The resolution, for the first time, encourages member states to work towards integrating mental health into primary health care by 2030.
The theme I have chosen for 2024 is “Mental Health as a Universal Human Right.” Everyone, whoever and wherever they are, has a right to the highest standard of mental health. This encompasses the right to be shielded from mental health risks, the right to accessible, acceptable, and high-quality care, and the right to liberty, independence, and inclusion within the community. As defined by the World Health Organization, health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease. This universal approach is relatively new and indicates a shift in how “the right to a standard of living adequate for health and well-being,” first enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 75 years ago, is now understood. A report by the U.N. Human Rights Office highlights that individuals with mental health conditions and those with psychosocial disabilities, experience disproportionately higher rates of poor physical health and have a reduced life expectancy compared to the general population.

The year 2024 offers LACPA and its members a unique opportunity to rally behind the theme "Mental Health as a Universal Human Right." Our collective efforts can enhance knowledge, raise awareness, and drive actions that promote and safeguard the mental health of all. I extend an invitation to all of you to join me in pursuing these objectives: to eradicate stigma, discrimination, and violence related to mental health; to uphold and protect the human rights of individuals with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities; and to advance our comprehension of mental health through scientific exploration, collaborative initiatives, and shared insights. By working together, we can create a community where individuals are supported, stigma is eradicated, and mental health is acknowledged as an integral component of overall well-being. We must ensure that no one is left behind, and that mental health is truly a priority for us all.

LACPA's 2023 Presidential Theme

Creative Resilience: Harnessing Uncertainty to Achieve Balance
Miriam Hamideh, Ph.D. 

Photo of Dr. Miriam HamidehIt is an honor to once again be a part of LACPA leadership, now joining you as President for the 2023 term. To better demonstrate my commitment to LACPA and to our profession, I would like to share a little about my personal, educational, and professional journey.

I have been working as a psychologist since 1990. My journey began at the Catholic University of Pelotas (UCPEL) in Brazil, where I found my passion for psychology. I then moved to Buenos Aires, where I worked at a private psychiatric clinic and wrote my doctoral thesis at Belgrano University.

Read More

LACPA's 2022 Presidential Theme

All Bodies, All Voices

Lauren Muhlheim, Psy.D. 

Photo of Dr. Lauren MuhlheimIt is an honor to join you as LACPA’s 2022 president. To share a little about me, I have been a practicing psychologist for the past 25 years, most of it in Los Angeles. The first 10 years, I worked as a staff psychologist at the Los Angeles County Jail. After a brief side trip to Shanghai with my family from 2008 - 2010, where I worked as a psychologist serving the expatriate community, I started my private practice, which has since expanded to a group practice specializing in eating disorders.

Read More

LACPA’s 2020 Presidential Theme

Remembering Our Shared Humanity
Kenneth Skale, Psy.D.

Photo of Dr. Kenneth SkaleFour years and seven months ago (or thereabouts) I began my journey in LACPA leadership as a student representative, and somehow I find myself here today as LACPA’s incoming president for 2020. For those familiar with the responsibility this entails, you would be forgiven for asking why someone would want to do this! Stepping into this role comes with a host of meetings, events, speeches, and a truly untoward amount of emails on top of everyday practice and home life. Nietzsche is quoted as saying, “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” The duties of LACPA’s presidency are enjoyable and rewarding, save the emails, but as I have watched our past-presidents shoulder this responsibility, I realized I would need a compelling why of my own to make it through.

Read More

LACPA's 2019 Presidential Theme

Connect. Collaborate. Get Inspired!
Leticia C. Amick, Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Leticia AmickMy name is Leticia C. Amick and my journey in LACPA leadership began as a committee member - the Networking committee to be specific - and later on as Secretary and President-Elect on the Board. In January I’ll begin my term as President with – I must admit – a little trepidation but also with a sense of gratitude to be so intimately involved with LACPA. I face this opportunity knowing how important this organization is to me and hopefully to all of you too.

Read More

LACPA’s 2018 Presidential Theme

Self-Care and Balance
Lynne A. Steinman, Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Lynne SteinmanHere I am writing my first President’s Column (actually, I’m still President-Elect for a few more days) for the LA Psychologist and introducing my theme for 2018 – Self-Care and Balance. When I first thought about writing these columns, I considered researching the topic and reading a bunch of scholarly articles. Then I reconsidered and decided that I’d be practicing much better self-care by reading a sci-fi novel in my backyard!

Read More

LACPA's 2017 Presidential Theme

Reaching for the Future — at LACPA and Beyond 
Beth Leedham, Ph.D. 

Photo of Dr. Beth LeedhamJanuary is right around the corner — the season of goals and resolutions, of calendars and plans. As a gardener, this has always struck me as a particularly hopeful time of year here in Southern California. We turn our soil to plant peas and lettuce, prune our roses to ensure spring bloom, welcome rain at long last, and hang wads of cotton from tree branches, in hopes that local hummingbirds might use it to nest. Outside, the air is soft. It smells like wonderful things are about to happen. 

Read More

LACPA's 2016 Presidential Theme

Professional Advocacy: Do a Lot by Doing a Little More.
Lisa Osborn, Psy.D.

Photo of Dr. Lisa OsbornOnce again, it is time for the annual issue of The Los Angeles Psychologist devoted to professional advocacy. We are now in our fifth year, which I find very hard to believe. Where has the time gone? Again, I would like to offer my expression of gratitude to the Editorial Board and LACPA Board of Directors for their commitment to the vital importance of professional advocacy to our profession and providing a forum in which to continue to educate and inspire our membership.

Read More

LACPA's 2015 Presidential Theme

Complexities of Culture
Gitu Bhatia, Psy.D.  

Photo of Dr. Gitu BhatiaAs the incoming president, it is my honor and privilege to lead this organization in the year ahead. LACPA has been a place for me to connect with a wide network of passionate and compassionate psychologists, students and other mental health and affiliated professionals. Through its many committees, special interest groups (SIGs), clubs, continuing education programs, and networking events, I have been able to share and learn from a vast knowledge base. This past year, at the State Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., I was impressed by the strength of our organization relative to many state organizations. Our strength is not only due to the large membership but also to the many benefits that support the varied interests and diverse needs of its members. 

Read More