Advancing Equity in Mental Health

WHY EQUITY IN MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS

Mental health is a critical aspect of our overall well-being, yet access to mental health care is not equitable for all. Disparities exist based on race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and geographic location, among other factors. These disparities can lead to significant differences in mental health outcomes.

KEY FACTS AND DATA

  • Prevalence of Mental Health Issues: Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness in a given year (National Institute of Mental Health).
  • Access to Care: According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), only 43% of adults with mental illness received treatment in 2021 (National Institute of Mental Health).
  • Disparities in Care: Ethnic and racial minorities are less likely to receive mental health care. For example, 48% of white adults with mental illness received treatment, compared to 31% of Black adults and 22% of Hispanic adults (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).
  • Cultural Competence: Studies show that culturally and linguistically responsive care can significantly improve mental health outcomes. Yet, only a small percentage of mental health professionals receive adequate training in cultural competence (American Psychological Association).

We are proud to collaborate with a diverse group of partners who share our commitment to mental health equity. Together, we work to break down barriers to care and create a more inclusive and supportive mental health system.

To learn more about mindful resources, visit our resources page.

Together, we can make a difference and advance equity in mental health for all.

Ivy Child TeamAdvancing Equity in Mental Health

Equity Breath

Enjoy this meditation practice by our CEO, Rose Felix Cratsley. This mediation focuses on Equity Breath.

In this practice framework, each letter of the word “breath” serves to remind us of our responsibility to honor and promote equity.

To begin this practice, let’s ground ourselves in deep gratitude. Gratitude for all those who have come before us and those who have paved the way for us to sit in this moment with a sense of relative safety. Whose tireless efforts allow us to be and move within the spaces we navigate each day. Acknowledging the responsibility we also share in making the world a better place than we found it. In this way, we can recognize our own sense of belonging as we take time now at the start of our practice to breathe for belonging.

In this mindfulness framework, each letter of the word “breath” serves to remind us of our responsibility to ourselves and to others to honor and promote equity. “B” invites us to breathe for belonging. “R” for restoration and renewal. “E” to exercise equity. “A” to activate and advocate. “T” asks us to trust the power. “H” is for healing.

  1. Let’s pause for a few breaths to allow us to focus on our breathing for belonging. As we focus on the positive elements of belonging and our gratitude for all that has made this possible, begin to feel a sense of restoration and renewal.
  2. Belonging. Restoration and renewal. The first two letters of our equity breath will prepare us to receive the world with as much positivity and energy as we can. With this in mind, take some time to breathe for belonging as well as our collective restoration and renewal.
  3. Allow a welcome pause. For several breaths focus on restoration and renewal. Take some time to turn inward and focus on a sense of belonging, restoration, and renewal.
  4. Let’s turn our attention outward to the rich diversity of people in our lives and everyday interactions. With that, we will begin to reflect on how we exercise equity as well as activate and advocate for that equity—the “E” and “A” in our equity breath.
  5. Now we can turn our attention to opening our hearts and minds to the vast intersectionality of our world in ways that cause us to examine things like: Who holds power across our communities and across facets of our society? What is grounded in the ways that we live, work, and play? 
  6. In our collective efforts to advance intersectional equity, may we take the necessary steps to recognize and value each of our many identities. May we exercise equity through our genuine care and concern for one another. Through sharing, openness, and curiosity. Through open invitations to participate, broadening access and opportunity, and through collaboration and co-creation with those impacted by institutions, systems, and communities. Holding those most affected in our hearts and directing this practice toward justice. May we breathe for safety for ourselves and one another. May we breathe together for justice, for the positive change we see each day in the march toward social justice. May we honor and nourish the relationships so necessary in advancing equity in our world as this cannot be done alone.
  7. Let’s pause again and enjoy a few deep breaths to focus on our vast potential to exercise equity. To activate and advocate. Anchoring ourselves in our equity breath as we now turn ourselves to the end of our practice. We use the breath as a tool to focus on breathing for belonging, restoration, and renewal, exercising equity, activating and advocating, trusting the power, and healing through hope.
  8. Holding ourselves with the utmost compassion, we move into the last two elements of our equity breath, allowing ourselves to trust the past and heal through hope. Anchoring our awareness on the breath; focusing on simply breathing in and breathing out. Aware of our body, let us release all of the tension and pain.
  9. Now, let’s bring our awareness to our hearts. Welcome tenderness to our hearts, bringing our awareness to our emotions. Holding in compassion. Smiling. Easing and releasing with the breath. As we notice our own suffering, notice how it manifests in the body, in our emotions, in our tone, and in our words and actions. Try to hold the suffering with deep compassion. Easing suffering with the beautiful power of our breath. Being aware of suffering as a pattern in the world. Visualizing how it affects so many. As we take in this pattern of suffering, hold it in compassion, and send ease with each out-breath.
  10. As we notice the suffering of others, what are you aware of? What do you feel in your body? What emotions? Hold it all with compassion, sending ease and relief to your mind.
  11. Now slowly return awareness to the breath. Welcome ease and with each out-breath, release any tension. Notice the suffering of those that hold privilege. Recognize guilt and disconnection. Feel this energy and hold it with deep passion as we release it with ease and send relief.
  12. Return awareness to the entire body. Our heads, our hearts, our hands, and our feet. From this awareness, honor your deepest intentions to address suffering and what we need to do in order to create conditions to thrive. Strengthening and bringing into awareness the steps we take next. How does this feel in your body, in your head, in your heart? Hands and feet? What are you? What are we? Carrying forth from today may we keep the flames of determination, courage, and conviction burning no matter what difficulty or odds arise.
Ivy Child TeamEquity Breath

NLC City Summit

National League of Cities’ annual City Summit conference is an event for local officials – elected and staff – to learn about the issues affecting local governments and expand their professional network. City Summit is aimed at helping local leaders gain real tools to create real change in their communities.

Ivy Child International’s CEO, Rose F. Cratsley, will be conducting a small session on mindfulness, titled “Healing through Hope”. Ivy Child’s vision to create mindful leaders with diverse backgrounds and experiences, who are honored, valued and equipped to lead organizations, communities, and systems that are joyful, healthy, and inclusive. Align perfectly with the city summit.

Date : 15th November 2021

10:00 am to 4 pm EST

Ivy Child TeamNLC City Summit

Healing Retreat for People of Color

The Healing Retreat for People of Color (HRPOC) seeks to transform generational suffering into  generational wellness by teaching the ancient practices of yoga, meditation, breathwork, and mindfulness as invaluable life tools. The inherent substance, meaning, viability, and foundation that lie within these practices are essential and necessary for the health and well-being of People of Color and other impacted groups.

The challenges facing the body, mind, and spirit of people of color are vast.  They often disproportionately affect physical and mental health, socio-economic status, employment opportunities and much more. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted these conditions. The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the BIPOC community results in higher instances of illness and death.

Date : 5th December 2021

12:00 pm to 4 pm EST

 Injustice, which is often a daily occurrence in this community, also compromises the health and well-being of people of color. Depression, anxiety, and the lack of control over one’s life circumstances challenge  ones’ wellbeing. Social factors (stressors) such as under-employment, unemployment, poverty, lack of resources, and the adverse impact of racism and the criminal justice system contribute to the poor health status of many BIPOCs. These conditions undermine the body, mind, and spirit and result in increased bio-psycho-social illnesses among our communities.

The Healing Retreat for People of Color will teach that the ancient practices of yoga, meditation, breathwork and mindfulness as contemporary life support. The inherent substance, meaning, viability and sturdiness that lies within these practices are essential for the health and wellbeing for People of Color.

Ivy Child TeamHealing Retreat for People of Color

Healing Retreat for People of Color

The Healing Retreat for People of Color (HRPOC) seeks to transform generational suffering into  generational wellness by teaching the ancient practices of yoga, meditation, breathwork, and mindfulness as invaluable life tools. The inherent substance, meaning, viability, and foundation that lie within these practices are essential and necessary for the health and well-being of People of Color and other impacted groups.

The challenges facing the body, mind, and spirit of people of color are vast.  They often disproportionately affect physical and mental health, socio-economic status, employment opportunities and much more. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted these conditions. The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the BIPOC community results in higher instances of illness and death.

Date : 7th November 2021

12:00 pm to 4 pm EST

 Injustice, which is often a daily occurrence in this community, also compromises the health and well-being of people of color. Depression, anxiety, and the lack of control over one’s life circumstances challenge  ones’ wellbeing. Social factors (stressors) such as under-employment, unemployment, poverty, lack of resources, and the adverse impact of racism and the criminal justice system contribute to the poor health status of many BIPOCs. These conditions undermine the body, mind, and spirit and result in increased bio-psycho-social illnesses among our communities.

The Healing Retreat for People of Color will teach that the ancient practices of yoga, meditation, breathwork and mindfulness as contemporary life support. The inherent substance, meaning, viability and sturdiness that lies within these practices are essential for the health and wellbeing for People of Color.

Ivy Child TeamHealing Retreat for People of Color

PEN America – Wellness Wednesdays

PEN AMERICA sessions are for about 10-20 participants, employees, and college interns. A mix of races and gender identities who are very sensitive to the needs of others.

The sessions are to promote overall wellness and self-care. The sessions include wellness and self-care topics in breathing, stretching, and guided meditation.

September 2021 – December 2021

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

Founded in 1922, PEN America is the largest of the more than 100 centers worldwide that make up the PEN International network. PEN America works to ensure that people everywhere have the freedom to create literature, to convey information and ideas, to express their views, and to access the views, ideas, and literatures of others. Our strength is our Membership—a nationwide community of more than 7,500 novelists, journalists, nonfiction writers, editors, poets, essayists, playwrights, publishers, translators, agents, and other writing professionals, as well as devoted readers and supporters who join with them to carry out PEN America’s mission. Learn More

Ivy Child TeamPEN America – Wellness Wednesdays

Mindful Self-Care and Caregiving Program

Participants will learn mindful strategies to help:

  • Improve emotional well-being
  • Find better balance
  • Develop a more mindful bond with themselves and their loved ones
  • Engage with a deeper presence
  • Create space to reflect and constructively respond in the face of challenging moments and conversations
  • Relieve stress
  • Establish daily mindful practices that can be applied to work and life

The workshop will include access to a suite of digital resources for fostering mindfulness practices.

30th September 2021

Time: 11am-12pm and 9pm-10pm

About Ford Foundation

Ford Foundation believes in the inherent dignity of all people. But around the world, too many people are excluded from the political, economic, and social institutions that shape their lives.

Across eight decades, their mission has sought to reduce poverty and injustice, strengthen democratic values, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. Read More

Ivy Child TeamMindful Self-Care and Caregiving Program

Wellness Initiative with SalesLabX

Considering that a healthy workforce is a productive workforce, it is important to establish a culture that encourages wellness and promotes self-care among employees. This will help boost well-being, stress management, and improve job satisfaction.

According to a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, it shows that 79% of employees support the notion that wellness programs created a positive impact on them. Hence, wellness programs are important to form holistic development within every organization.

October 2021

This program will explore mindfulness as an effective tool to help staff cope and succeed in their work. It supports staff to have improved mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. They will learn how practicing mindfulness can enhance their productivity, focus, and preparedness at work, relationships, and daily life.

The program combines mindful activities (such as breathing exercises), guided meditation, guided movements and reflection time. Staff will learn mindful strategies and tools to:

  • Increase self-awareness and mental clarity
  • Relieve and manage stress and anxiety
  • Improve self-regulation
  • Identify helpful and positive thinking patterns
  • Enhance focus and awareness
  • Improve decision-making skills
  • Boost performance
  • Adopt sustainable and healthy habits

About SaleslabX

SalesLabX provides sales automation for startups & enterprise businesses. Based in Austin, Texas, SalesLabX is the leader in Pardot, Salesforce, and managed applications.

They are on a mission to democratize both the technology and the talent that drives automation. SalesLabX provides the framework that the world’s most progressive organizations leverage to automate and scale their message. Read More

Ivy Child TeamWellness Initiative with SalesLabX

Mindfulness Initiative with Roxbury Latin School

This program explores mindfulness as an effective tool to help students cope and succeed as the complexities of social engagement, pressures of school/life, and distractions of technology play a significant role in their daily lives.

Students will learn how practicing mindfulness can enhance their productivity, focus, and preparedness in school, the arts, athletics, relationships, and daily life.

September – October 2021

The program combines mindful activities (such as breathing exercises), guided meditation and reflection time,group/partner work, and discussions. Students will learn mindful strategies and tools to:

  • Increase self-awareness
  • Relieve and manage stress and anxiety
  • Improve self-regulation
  • Identify helpful and positive thinking patterns
  • Enhance focus and awareness
  • Improve decision-making skills
  • Boost performance
  • Adopt sustainable and healthy habits

About Roxbury Latin School

Roxbury Latin School was founded in 1645, in the reign of King Charles I, by John Eliot. Modeled on the English grammar school, Younger boys studied preparatory subjects—reading, writing, and arithmetic—while older students moved on to Latin grammar, a prerequisite for entrance to Harvard, the Massachusetts Bay colony’s only college.

Each year, they seek to admit boys who would thrive in a challenging, rewarding, and supportive environment that emphasizes character development, academic excellence, and broad extracurricular involvement.

They actively strive for racial, ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic diversity in their student body and admit boys of different backgrounds. The rich diversity—of backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, and ideas—makes for a more substantive and meaningful educational experience, for each student. Learn More

Ivy Child TeamMindfulness Initiative with Roxbury Latin School