Zero Degrees of Separation: The Role of Social Determinants

The McSilver Institute, MCTAC and CTAC have partnered to launch a multi-platform online series intended to help clinical professionals, policy makers and all who influence our healthcare system to think critically about social factors and their direct and indirect effects on an individual’s health and mental health.

We will explore the linkage between poverty and racial disparities across systems and discuss ways in which they can be addressed. Collectively, we must begin to attend to these issues in our work in order to improve both behavioral and physical health outcomes.

​The Social Determinants of Health are the conditions in which people live, work, and grow. These conditions are shaped by the distribution of power and resources (money) at global, national and local levels.  These affect a range of functioning, quality of life outcomes, health, mental health, and risk factors.  Resources that enhance quality of life can have a significant influence on population health outcomes. Examples of these resources include safe and affordable housing, access to education, public safety, availability of healthy foods, local emergency/health services, and environments free of life-threatening toxins.


June 27, 2016 | 12:00pm-1:00pm

The Things that Matter: Addressing the Social Determinants of Health

Presenter: Ruth Shim, MD, MPH

The circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, work, and age shape health in powerful ways. One’s social and physical environment, access to a quality education and health services, and socio-economic status collectively have a major influence on their quality of life. This webinar provides a lens through which to view services to populations impacted by harmful social and environmental factors and their impact on the well-being of individuals and communities. This webinar will challenge participants to rethink cross-system issues and consider clinical and policy interventions that can have long lasting, positive impacts on a person’s holistic self and well-being.


March 30, 2016 | 12:00-1:00pm

Underprivileged & Underserved: The Impact of Poverty on Mental Health

Presenter: Lydia Franco, LMSW; Kara Dean-Assael, LMSW; Yvette Kelly, LMHC

Living in poverty has been linked to psychological distress that — unless addressed — can impactan individual’s trajectory to wellness. Lack of knowledge, fear and bias can prevent both the provider and client from discussing poverty’s effect on treatment. Therefore, in order to effectively treat and promote mental health more generally, behavioral health organizations working within impoverished communities must understand and recognize the intricate relationship betweenpoverty and mental health. This webinar will discuss ways providers can assess the impact of living in poverty has on service delivery and expand the strengths of those living in poverty.



April 28, 2016 | 12:00-1:00pm

How Racism Impacts those We Serve and How We Serve: Are We Meeting Participants Where They Are?

Presenter: Dottie Lebron,MPA; Jayson Jones, LMSW; Kara Dean-Assael, LMSW; Yvette Kelly, LMHC

Issues related to race are among the most difficult and least discussed topics in the field of behavioral health. This webinar is designed to raise the awareness of behavioral health providers of the possible overt, subtle, or unintentional ways that organizational policies and service delivery create barriers for individuals who have experienced racial discrimination. The presenters will review the history of racism, how it impacts participants, and what organizations can do to reduce structural barriers for individuals impacted by racism and discrimination.



June 30, 2016 | 12:00-1:00pm

Women and Mental Health: Embracing the Intersections of Trauma, Oppression, and Agency

Presenter: Mayowa Obasaju, PhD is a clinical and community psychologists specializing in Systemic, clinical and community based approaches to trauma intervention and prevention. Dr. Obasaju serves on the Board of Black Women's Blueprint and is the Trauma and Healing focused psychologist at the Furman Counseling Center of Barnard College.

This webinar explores how the accumulation of social stressors prescribed onto women affect their social, emotional, and mental well being. We define the various forms of oppression that impact women’s daily interactions. Our goal is to provide viewers with the tools and language to discuss such difficult topics with their clients.



July 12, 2016 | 12:00pm-1:00pm

Coming Home: Working from the Trauma-informed Perspective with the Justice-Involved Population​

Presenter: Layne Pavey, MSW, LIACSW, CPC & EMDR Therapy Provider

People involved in the justice system present unique limitations when acclimating back in society. They are faced by joblessness, economic instability, and feelings of isolation. This webinar will outline the impact of trauma experienced by the justice involved population on an individual’s physical and mental health both during incarceration and reentry into society. We will explore the various societal factors that often drive crime and ways to support individuals affected by such obstacles. The presentation will focus on the recovery and restoration process for which a clear connection will be made between reentry into society, belonging, attachment and reconciling a sense of "home."



Podcast: Hunger in NY

Presenter: Kathy Goldman and Nicole Gallant


July 20, 2016 | 12:00pm-1:00pm

Promoting Nutrition Education in Diverse Populations

Presenter: Psyche Williams-Forson, PhD

Differences in dietary intake, dietary behaviors, and dietary patterns in different segments of the population result in poorer dietary quality and inferior health outcomes for certain groups and an unequal burden in terms of disease incidence, morbidity, mortality, survival, and overall adverse health conditions for minorities as compared to whites. This webinar will address the social, cultural, and economic factors that have an influence on people’s food habits and choices and identify culturally sensitive strategies to improve nutrition among diverse populations.



August 10, 2016 | 12:00pm-1:00pm

The SEED's of Health: Exploring the Impact of Social, Economic, and Educational Determinants

Presenter: Anthony Salerno, PhD and Peter C. Campanelli, PsyD

There is a general lack of understanding and appreciation for the contribution of social, educational, poverty related and economic factors in health disparities and outcomes. This webinar is designed to define and identify the role of social determinants in health as well as explore strategies to address social determinants and its implications for the healthcare system.



August 25, 2016 | 12:00pm-1:00pm

Legacies of Pain and Resilience: Clinical Implications for Understanding Historical Trauma and Race

Presenter: James Rodriguez, PhD and Jayson Jones, LMSW

Historical Trauma (HT) refers to the psychological distress experienced by survivors or descendants of human initiated acts of oppression. This webinar helped clinicians understand HT and provided some clarity regarding the intergenerational transmission of trauma and how it relates to racial oppression in particular. We summarized the research on the biological, psychological and social forces that promote an intergenerational legacy of pain and suffering among descendants of people impacted by traumatizing historical events. We also outlined the importance of resilience in helping individuals and communities recover and cope with HT.



September 8, 2016 | 12:00pm-1:00pm

Strength in Numbers: Voting & Social Work

Presenter: Tanya Smith, Louisa Hackett and Lindsey Hodel

Substantial differences tied to income, age, racial and ethnic disparities play a significant role in impacting voter turnout- even in the most voter-friendly states. There is an important relationship between individual and community well-being and the practice of voting. Voting is an essential responsibility of citizenship and is pivotal to the health of our democracy. When people vote, there are benefits to their communities, including higher levels of civic participation, stronger connections within communities as well as better outcomes for the individual voters to include improved health, social connections, mental health and overall well-being. This webinar will discuss how Nonprofit human service providers are poised to play a significant role in narrowing the gap in participation in communities that have traditionally been underrepresented- the groups to which social workers often have direct access.



Podcast: Voting & Social Work

Presenter: Tanya Smith, Louisa Hackett and Charles Lewis, Jr.


September 26, 2016 | 1:00pm-2:00pm

Out of the System and into the Workforce: Employment as a Social Determinant

Presenter: Len Statham

The unemployment rate is not our biggest problem. Rather, attention must be geared toward the lack of participation in the workforce. Why are many settling for public benefits? This webinar takes an honest look at what we need to do as a community to change this unsettling dynamic. Focusing on poverty, unemployment, and its relationship to mental health, this webinar is a "call to arms" to empower both providers and individuals with lived experience to begin the conversation in the mental health field. Our health depends upon it!



November 10, 2016 | 12:00pm-1:00pm

EMS and High Needs Students: Applying a Trauma Informed Response in NYC Public Schools

Presenter: Tara Foster and Nelson Mar

CTAC invites Tara Foster and Nelson Mar, Senior Attorneys from Legal Services NYC, to discuss how the trauma informed perspective influenced a landmark settlement on December 15, 2014. Eleven families filed suit against the City of New York in the hopes of ending the “EMSing” of disruptive students to local emergency rooms when no medical emergency existed. This webinar will discuss the history of this practice and the genesis of the lawsuit and the steps the City, the DOE and the FDNY will take to curtail this practice including: the provision of crisis de-escalation training; the disclosure of data; the implementation of a new regulation regarding crisis de-escalation; and the placement of additional resources at high needs schools.



November 17, 2016 | 12:00pm-1:00pm

The Shame of Being Poor? Stigma as a Social Determinant of Health

Presenter: Elizabeth Bowen and Keith Chan

Many people who seek or are in need of social services experience stigma related to a variety of factors, such as age, income, race and ethnicity, immigration status, and health conditions. Using case studies and interactive discussions, this webinar will explore the ways in which stigma can be a social determinant of health and impact people’s service-seeking experiences. Participants will learn best practices for addressing stigma and engaging with marginalized populations.



November 30, 2016 | 12:00pm-1:00pm

Navigating the Reentry Maze: Holistic Transformative Integrated Case Management

Presenter: Jondhi Harrell

Persons who have faced incarceration and are in the midst of transitioning back into the society, community and family face significant social, emotional and economic challenges. Social service organizations and behavioral health providers have an important role to play in supporting successful transitions. Understanding the landscape of local service delivery and the needs of “returning citizens,” can make or break the effectiveness of programs designed to assist formerly incarcerated persons in this transition. In the City of Philadelphia, The Center for Returning Citizens has had laudable outcomes through applying holistic case management to those they serve. This webinar explores the methods and relationship-building work that TCRC has employed, in the hopes of supporting other groups to replicate their successful strategies.



December 14, 2016 | 12:00pm-1:00pm

Housing IS Healthcare: What Can Be Done to Address the Most Important Social Determinant of Health?

Presenter: Ted Houghton

Without a stable place of residence, it is exceedingly difficult for disabled individuals to address their many healthcare needs. This webinar reviews research confirming the importance of housing for individuals with special needs, and explores what is currently being done to help them achieve housing stability and good health.



January 27, 2017 | 12:00pm-1:00pm

Environmental Trauma: Strengthening a Community through Action

Presenter: Robert Brown

In 2014, residents of Flint, Michigan were impacted by a water crisis as a result of years of political neglect. The environmental trauma endured by residents, children and families has greatly impacted the level of stress and depression as the crisis lingers with little resolution. Flint is not alone - there are environmental crises that occur all throughout this country, including New York.

Environmental trauma can be triggered by feelings of neglect, helplessness, and loss from observed and felt conflict in the social and physical environment that has negative health implications for a person, family, or community.

In this webinar, Robert Brown, associate director of the Center for Community and Economic Development at Michigan State University, and Kenyetta Dotson, a social worker, will explore the effects of environmental trauma while using the Flint, Michigan water crisis as an example. They will engage in a dialogue with participants to review what happened in their hometown and explore how participants may respond if it happens in their own communities.



February 8, 2017 | 12:00pm-1:00pm

What’s Food Got To Do With It? Food Insecurity and Mental Health

Presenter: Kara Marie Dean-Assael and Diana Arias

We know that our participants in services often have many other challenges in their lives aside from mental health needs, including physical health problems, housing, substance abuse, or even trauma. We are now aware of another social problem that is often overlooked. It is the silent problem of hunger, also known as food insecurity.

Food Insecurity currently affects 17.6 million households in the United States. The impact of food insecurity ranges from obesity to vitamin deficiency to depression.

This webinar will highlight the problem of food insecurity, the impact and its relationship to mental health and will offer some practical tips for practitioners and supervisors.



April 21, 2017 | 12:00pm-1:00pm

Part I: Collective Impact Through A Community Schools Framework

Presenter: Anju Rapchandani and Michelle Makabali

The Collective Impact Framework is a model for system reform that supports cross-sector collaboration by collectively addressing a particular social problem. A common agenda, shared measurement, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and backbone support are key to building community cohesion and are critical principles of Collective Impact.

This three-part offering introduces the Collective Impact Framework as a conceptual tool to help community leaders coordinate their resources and strategize ways to better align the experiences of families, children and community members in services and programs that attend to the social determinants of health.

In this webinar, individuals learn what the collective impact framework looks like through the backbone function around coordinating resources and support services to ensure student academic, socio-emotional, and attendance success.



May 10, 2017 | 12:00pm-1:00pm

Part II: Measurement and Sustainability

Presenter: Colleen Maleski and Heidi Black

This webinar, presented by StriveTogether, will highlight a detailed collective impact approach focused on improving outcomes and changing systems in communities. Attendees will learn about measuring the success of collective impact initiatives and using data for person-centric improvement. The presenters will also share tangible tools to engage cross-sector stakeholders to identify root causes impacting community-level outcomes and implement strategies to influence policy, practice and behavior changes. StriveTogether is a national, nonprofit network of more than 70 communities using a rigorous approach to accelerate progress and sustain success in education. We provide coaching, connections and resources to our local partnerships and work together to measurably improve six results from cradle to career.



May 30, 2017 | 12:00pm-1:00pm

Part III: Reforming NYS Juvenile Justice System Through Collective Impact

Presenter: Thomas Andriola

Over the past several years, New York State has been committed to reforming its juvenile justice system to promote youth success, while ensuring public safety. In July 2011, Safe Communities, Successful Youth: A Shared Vision for the New York State Juvenile Justice System was released, which was a strategic plan developed using the collective impact process. Since that time, the State has made great strides in its reform efforts, backed by the five key conditions that comprise the collective impact process – a common agenda, shared measurement, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and backbone support. This webinar will take participants through the New York State experience using the collective impact model to reform its juvenile justice system, and will help translate their process into actionable steps as a model that could be used for in any effort.