Center of Excellence

Christopher Holliday, Ph.D., Director

The vision of the Center is a world where social conditions support the mental health and well-being of all. Its mission
is to improve mental health and well-being, and to narrow health inequalities by changing social conditions, particularly those that impact the most vulnerable.

Center for the Social Determinants of Mental Health

Launched in September 2012, after more than one year of scanning the organizational landscape, we can affirm that there is no other center in the United States dedicated to the social determinants of mental health.

The vision of the Center is a world where social conditions support the mental health and well-being of all. Its mission is to improve mental health and well-being, and to narrow health inequalities by changing social conditions, particularly those that impact the most vulnerable.

Our goal is to be a national Center of Excellence for the generation and dissemination of knowledge about the impact of social conditions on public or population mental health, and the application of that knowledge to strategies that eliminate mental health inequalities.

The vision, mission, and goal of the Center will be achieved through a three-pronged approach based on best practices for Education and Awareness, Community Mobilization, and Structural Change.  Authentic community engagement and collaboration are central to the Center approach to change. 

In doing this work, the Center seeks to narrow health inequalities bridging the gulf between public health and mental health; promoting the concept of public (or population) mental health; highlighting the ways in which mental health is socially constructed; identifying and facilitating structural reforms that impact the social conditions that compromise the mental health and well-being of disadvantaged  populations; advancing the integration mental health considerations into the practice of Health Impact Assessment; and advancing the integration of mental health into the discourse and emerging practices related to the Social Determinants of Health.

To learn more about the Center for the Social Determinants of Mental Health and connect with our work, please e-mail us