The Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice (formerly the American Orthopsychiatric Association) is a compassionate community of individuals and organizations dedicated to informing policy, practice and research concerning behavioral health, social justice, and well-being. 

Universal Health Coverage

Last week Member States convened in New York for the opening of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 74). High-level meetings were convened on universal health coverage, the sustainable development goals, and climate change. UHC Logo

We're watching Universal Health Coverage.  Universal health coverage means that all people will have access to the health care they need, when and where they need it, without suffering financial hardship.  As the World Health Organization stated in 2005, "there is no health without mental health."  Universal health coverage must include support for behavioral health (mental health and substance abuse) services.  

Read our statement to Member States on universal health coverage

Read our new Resolution on the Inclusion of Mental Health in Universal Health Coverage

Learn more about the work of our Global Mental Health Task Force and join our efforts

Join us in calling for action: @all4bhjustice on Twitter and Facebook #GA4UHC #HealthForAll

Learn about the personal experience of Senior Policy and Global Affairs Advisor, Gita Jaffe, who attended the High Level Meetings in New York by reading her blog.  


Watch this Space for information on

Coming Together for Action 2020

coming soon! 

AJO Cover

In this Issue

Highlights from the Latest AJO
Volume 89, Issue 5  

Special Issue: Sociocultural Factors and Mechanisms in Alcohol Use 

Lui, P. P., & Zamboanga, B. L. (2019). Ethnocultural diversity in alcohol use and misuse. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 89(5), 543-548.

Meca, A., Zamboanga, B. L., Lui, P. P., Schwartz, S. J., Lorenzo-Blanco, E. I., Gonzales-Backen, M. A., . . . Lizzi, K. M. (2019). Alcohol initiation among recently immigrated Hispanic adolescents: Roles of acculturation and sociocultural stress. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 89(5), 569-578.

Banks, D. E., Winningham, R. D., Wu, W., & Zapolski, T. C. B. (2019). Examination of the indirect effect of alcohol expectancies on ethnic identity and adolescent drinking outcomes. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 89(5), 600-608.

and more.....

AJO in the news! Check out this news story referencing an AJO article to learn how views of mental illness differ based on ethnicity, race, and gender in young teenagers. Find the full article here

Catching up with our Members

Congratulations to Board members Cynthia Handrup and Edilma Yearwood on presenting at the RCN (Royal College of Nursing) International Nursing Research Conference in London, England earlier this month.  One of the preeminent global nursing research conferences, Handrup and Yearwood both presented on topics related to global mental health. 


Cynthia Handrup, DNP, APN

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses Meeting the Challenge of Improving Global Mental Health 



Edilma Yearwood, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN

Examining the Evidence on Mental Health Literacy and Stigma Reduction in Low and Middle-Income Countries


Let us know what you're doing at [email protected]


 Check out our most recent policy resolutions! 

We've been busy this summer, working on five new policy resolutions. Make sure you take a look and let us know if you'd like to join with us in our work on Immigration, LGBTQ+ rights, or Global Mental Health. #GAinAction #ThinkAboutPolicy

 National Suicide Prevention Month 

Suicide Hotline

Suicide continues to be a leading cause of death across the world with over 800,000 deaths yearly or one suicide every 40 seconds. Youth are particularly impacted by suicide, with the rates of death by suicide among adolescents and young adults increasing over the past decade. According to the Youth Risk Behaviors Survey, 7.4% of high school students report having made at least one suicide attempt during the past year. As the Lancet Commission points out, investment in the well being of children and adolescent is a vital step in addressing Global Mental Health. 

This year’s theme is “Working Together to Prevent Suicide,” which highlights a key ingredient in suicide prevention: collaboration. When it comes to preventing youth suicide, an important step is to listen to the voices of youth and to work towards positive change alongside them. Take a minute to listen to the voices of youth as they talk about mental health and suicide prevention.

  • Sadie Penn shares her story and advocates for “shattering the silence” around youth suicide. 
  • is a Canadian organization that trains and empowers youth to revolutionize mental health and dismantle barriers to positive mental health in their communities. Rachel writes about the importance of being there for someone struggling with mental health as part of the organizations “Be There” campaign. 
  • Active Minds has over 450 chapters on college campuses that organize awareness campaigns, host events, and advocate to start the conversation about suicide and mental health. Members share the reasons that they speak out about mental health and suicide.