The spatial inequities embedded within cities have cascading effects on an individual’s access to mental health care. Racist urban malpractices such as redlining and housing discrimination are examples of generational exclusion and denial of opportunity to individuals based on race. These practices have lasting effects on the economic, social, and health disparities across discriminated communities. As practitioners that co-create urban environments, we must understand how our work maps onto the city’s physical and social geographies and reassert the link between urban space and improved mental health. The City Panel will discuss urban infrastructure, the criminalization of poverty, transportation, and food inequity, unveiling the deeply embedded systems of injustice that contribute to unequal access to mental well-being across racial lines.
Bryan Lee, Architect
Molly Kaufman, Community Organizer/journalist
Nupur Chaudhury, Urbanist, New York State Health Foundation
Justin Garrett Moore, Moderator
The goal of this year’s J. Irwin Miller Symposium at the Yale School of Architecture is to make designers and practitioners aware of their capacity to improve access to and perceptions of mental health. Throughout the month of September, the symposium will virtually convene a series of discussions with the goal of building collective capacity in improving access to mental health services and destigmatizing perceptions of mental health embedded in the built environment.
The global pandemic has only amplified the personal, social, and economic costs on mental illness, and has highlighted the need to consider the intersection of racial and economic inequality with mental health. The systemic violence inflicted on BIPOC communities brought to light during the global anti-racism protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd underscores the urgency to change the systems that inflict racial trauma. Design practitioners, therefore, have the responsibility to examine and reevaluate existing forms of community and care.
The symposium will explore issues of mental health at three scales: the hospital, the home, and the city. In engaging an interdisciplinary team to examine these themes, we might begin to understand how we can gain agency to influence practices surrounding mental health.
This inaugural Yale Mental Health Symposium is part of a long-term initiative at Yale, building on the work of the Yale Mental Health Colloquium which took place in 2019.