Task Forces and Committees

Task Forces

We organize task forces and study groups on issues of grave concern to the Alliance. Members are researchers, clinicians, practitioners, students, and policy experts with expertise on the topic. We welcome individuals at various stages in their careers, from across disciplines, and who who work in a variety of settings.

Products from the task forces vary depending on the interests of participants. In the past, task forces have developed special issues of the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, policy statements, resolutions, briefs, white papers, and conference presentations.   

New members are welcome to any of the task forces! Contact us at [email protected] to let us know you are interested.  

Currently, task forces are working on the following topics:   

Global Mental Health

As a global organization that recognizes that a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, our global mental health task force seeks to draw attention to disparities found throughout the world in mental health services and the too frequent violation of the rights of individuals with mental health concerns. Learn more about the work of the task force.  


Human Trafficking

The human trafficking task force is focused on the prevention of trafficking of children and youth. Although governments and international organizations have largely endorsed the four elements of an effective response to human trafficking – prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership – prevention has been underdeveloped. The task force has developed a framework, embedded in public health and human rights principles, for prevention.  Members of the task force have presented their research on human trafficking at the following meetings: 

  • Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking (2017), Lincoln, NE
  • Congressional Briefing (2017), Washington, DC. (Read the policy brief from the Congressional Briefing.)
  • American Public Health Association Human Rights Forum (2018), San Diego, CA
  • American Public Health Association Mental Health Section (2018), San Diego, CA  
  • In a presentation at the American Public Health Association Human Rights Forum (2019) in Philadelphia, PA, we presented a graphic depicting the key components and strategies for prevention. Learn more about the Primary Prevention Framework.

Chair: Gita Jaffe

Immigrants and Displaced Persons
Including refugees and other people displaced due to violence, persecution, economic instability, food insecurity and climate change.
A previous task force of the Global Alliance examined the rights and mental health of immigrant and refugee populations. The task force called for the development of comprehensive immigration reform incorporating family-centered policies and promoting family unity. They also emphasized the need for an interdisciplinary dialogue among mental health professionals, child advocates, policymakers, and other stakeholders to address gaps in existing immigration enforcement practices and to prevent, as much as possible, the separation of families. (See our position paper on the Impact of Immigration Enforcement on Children and Families and our resolution on protecting immigrant children and families).

More recently, the Global Alliance has adopted a resolution on families crossing borders and on the US treatment of refugees. The task force is in the process of identifying the next questions to address related to protecting the rights of immigrant and refugee populations.

Learn more about immigration and our work under topics

LGBTQ and Mental Health
Discrimination against individuals identifying as LGBTQ has been associated with higher rates of mental health disorders, substance abuse, and suicide. Youth identifying as LGBTQ experience higher rates of violence, victimization, and homelessness. The concerns of our members about discrimination against individuals identifying as LGBTQ led us to adopt a resolution in March 2017 on protections for transgender students. The task force is now identifying the next questions of interest.  

Want more information about the topic in general, research on the topic, or what you can do to help? Click here

Mass Incarceration 

The Global Alliance formed a task force on incarceration in 2015 to address challenges related to mass incarceration. The task force worked on a policy brief on mental health and the criminal justice system. The GA is particularly interested in the impact of mass incarceration on children and communities.  

Student and Early Career 

The student and early career task force highlights both the contributions and needs of students and early career members. The task force identifies topics relevant to these members, such as Policy 101, and ensures that their perspectives are at the forefront of Global Alliance activities, whether it's organizing conference sessions; drafting policy papers, newsletter content, or briefs; or authoring articles for AJO. The task force also provides opportunities for students and early career professionals to engage in association leadership and to develop skills that are useful in the workplace.  

Chair: Amber Kraft

From Idea to Impact: Demystifying Social Justice Policy Processes 
Join us for the very first webinar of a new series organized by the Student and Early Career Task Force on Thursday, March 26, 2020, 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET. 

This foundational webinar is an introduction to international social justice policy for graduate students and early career professionals to demystify the process and timelines behind creating positive policy change. Register here.

Prior Task Forces 

In the past, we have sponsored task forces on Family Homelessness; Children's Rights to Protection of Important Family Relationships; Mental Health and Human Rights; Intimate Partner Violence; and Schools as Places of Community.



The Global Alliance Board of Directors appoints committees to assist in carrying out the business of the association. Global Alliance members are welcome to join these committees. 

Current committees include: 

  • Awards
  • Conference
  • Development
  • Finance
  • Membership
  • Nominations
  • Policy