June 15, 2023: Emerson Award
Neighborhoods as Systemic Predictors of Mental Illness Vulnerability
The current lecture will provide an overview of how systemic inequities can be assessed through self-report and geocoding methods, touching on reasons why being aware of context and systemic influences is important for practitioners. Relations to mental illness vulnerability, particularly, psychosis vulnerability, will be discussed. Finally, emerging work on putative mechanisms underlying possible impacts of neighborhood features will be examined.
This program is intended for: Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Fellows, Residents, Interns and Nurses
Upon completion of the activity, participants will be able to:
- Discuss existing literature on neighborhood features and relations to mental health
- Describe possible benefits of considering neighborhood characteristics when conducting clinical research
- Identify types of neural features that have been related to neighborhood features
Teresa G. Vargas, MS
Teresa G. Vargas, MS
Teresa Vargas is a Clinical Fellow in Psychology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Clinically, her focus is on severe mental illness, including psychotic disorders and diagnostically complex presentations. She completed her doctoral training in Clinical Psychology at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on understanding systemic inequities, or disadvantages in one’s context and lived environments. Gaining knowledge on biological and neural consequences of systemic inequality could aid public dissemination efforts, as well as aid in framing and discerning the magnitude of the problem on an individual and societal level. Specifying biomarkers of impact of types of stressors, environments, and links to behavior and mental health outcomes could facilitate identification of targets for early intervention. Knowing which specific neural and biological factors are most relevant offers clues on where to intervene, with the hope of informing efficient allocation of resources on a health policy level. This could be particularly relevant when a developmental lens is incorporated, as this knowledge could help prevent and identify accumulating disadvantage and sequelae. As such, her work also has an emphasis on understanding how these systemic or ecological features relate to mental illness vulnerability, and identifying possible neural, biological, emotional and cognitive mechanisms through which this occurs. Her work has been supported through the National Institute of Mental Health’s Ruth L. Kirshstein National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral Fellowship. She has received offers of research support from the Ford Foundation and was awarded an Early Career Award by the Schizophrenia International Research Society.
- 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of McLean Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. McLean Hospital is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
McLean Hospital designates this Enduring activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
- 1.00 Nursing Contact Hours
Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 13, sections 13, 14, 14A, 15 and 15D and Chapter 112, sections 74 through 81C authorize the Board of Registration in Nursing to regulate nursing practice and education.
This program meets the requirements of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing (244 CMR 5.00) for 1.00 contact hours of nursing continuing education credit. Advance practice nurses, please note: Educational activities which meet the requirements of the ACCME (such as this activity) count towards 50% of the nursing requirement for ANCC accreditation.
- 1.00 Participation
This course allows other providers to claim a Participation Certificate upon successful completion of this course.
Participation Certificates will specify the title, location, type of activity, date of activity, and number of AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ associated with the activity. Providers should check with their regulatory agencies to determine ways in which AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ may or may not fulfill continuing education requirements. Providers should also consider saving copies of brochures, agenda, and other supporting documents.
- 1.00 Psychologists CE Credit
The Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
This offering meets the criteria for 1.00 Continuing Education (CE) credits per presentation for psychologists.