(suspenseful music) - As a young girl, I was thinking of service.
I mean, service seemed to be part of my DNA at the time.
My father grew up in Western Virginia.
His father was a farmer, and a preacher, and an activist for issues that related to race in that community.
(suspenseful music) So those issues of making a difference inspired me to really think about the various levels of disparities that exist.
(gentle pensive music) I was at Georgetown, and then there was a conversation about disparities, but very generic, very generic.
And it was as if, if you had Black providers, that would fix disparities, or if you had Asian providers, that would fix disparities.
And I said, no.
I said no, it's more than that.
And so, that is what kind of inspired me to really think about the various levels of disparities that exist.
(slow suspenseful music) The six A's, for purposes of our conversation, we have split them apart.
In reality, they all work together.
They all intersect with each other.
(suspenseful music) Does the service exist at all in my area?
We can't do anything about disparities in terms of mental health care, if the services do not exist where people are.
(tense suspenseful music) As I think about a mother who has three small children, and has an appointment to take one of those children to a mental health visit.
But don't let her be late, and then be blamed for being late when she did enormous amount of effort to try to get there.
And it's not her fault.
(tense suspenseful music) So the service may actually exist in the community, but if they don't know that the service is actually there, they're still not going to be able to take advantage of it.
(tense suspenseful music) The service can be there.
The service can be known to you, but they're asking for $15 copay, and you don't have it.
So now what?
(tense suspenseful music) We're constantly confronted with the fact that, the care that is offered may not be high-quality, and may not incorporate the cultural twist that comes with our work.
So we need to be really mindful that we want people to get what it is that's appropriate for them.
(tense suspenseful music) Culturally, first of all, we need to be on the same page that, there is an issue that needs to be addressed.
What is the it?
That is the problem.
We have teachers who will refer children for mental health services when the family's going, "Nothin' wrong with that boy."
Because the cultural frame around when you need help may be different.
(gentle suspenseful music) If we really cared about providing services that were acceptable and appropriate, we would be as a society placing those services in places that are received well.
That they would be present, and they would be affordable, and they would be quality, they would be appropriate, and they would be accessible.
Why we are seeing disparate experiences of people, based on their race, or their gender identity, or disability.
It is so multifaceted that we're not gonna close the gap unless we actually take an extraordinarily holistic perspective in fighting on all fronts.
(bright cheerful music)