5 April 2013

Mental Health Impact Assessment Report

From Lynn Todman at the Adler Institute on Social Exclusion:
Our report “U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Policy Guidance: A Mental Health Impact Assessment” has been completed and is available to you at adler.edu/MHIA
This report is the culmination of our 18-month study examining how changes in federal law regarding the use of arrest records in employment decisions would affect Chicago’s underserved Englewood neighborhood. The report also details the Mental Health Impact Assessment (MHIA) process that we employed at the Institute on Social Exclusion at the Adler School of Professional Psychology, constituting an important advance and contribution to the practice of Health Impact Assessment (HIA).
As you know, it is common for U.S. policy makers to consider factors like the natural environment, human physical health, and economic impact in their decision-making processes. Environmental Impact Assessments, Health Impact Assessments, and Economic Impact Assessment are increasingly common.  However, assessments that evaluate psychological or mental health impacts are rare, despite the fact that mental health is an essential element of healthy communities.
The MHIA process is intended help policy makers assess how changes in public policy may help or harm the mental health of communities, especially the most vulnerable. It is also a useful tool in helping to narrow health inequities, and will become increasingly important in light of dwindling mental health resources and support. Conducting an MHIA can help ensure that policies that are implemented will help reduce health inequities, and improve the health and wellbeing of communities and the nation.
Thank you for your interest in our work.  If we can answer questions or provide more information for you, please contact us at ISE@adler.edu