About Us

The goal of this Office is to reduce and ultimately eliminate disparities in behavioral health, including mental health, substance abuse and developmental disabilities.

Strategies. We achieve our goal through the following strategies:
  • Training and Development of existing and emerging leaders.
  • Community Empowerment, Support and Leadership.
  • Providing leadership to inform meaningful and effective policy and practice in Behavioral Health.
Accomplishments The following activities are some of our accomplishments:
  • Development and implementation of the Office of Behavioral Health website, (2010) GA State Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities to improve mental and
  • developmental health and well-being of people in Georgia through increase in access to mental health services and treatment at Grady Hospital Emergency Department, and improvement of community-based provider network by integrating mental health into primary care settings within the greater Atlanta area. This partnership involves MSM Department of Psychiatry and includes Kaiser Permanente support for the primary care and mental health integration, (2010 – 2011).
  • National Institute of Health - National Institute on Minority Health & Health Disparity [NIMHD] grant for Neighborhood Healthy Child Development Project [NHCDP] aimed at promoting child mental health by improving early brain development, resiliency and social emotional health of children 0-5 years old. This led to development of culturally relevant and translated evidence-based parenting education tool for minority families, (2010).
  • Georgia State Department of Human Services – Annie Casey’s Grade-Level Reading support to expand the NHCDP for 0-5 years old to include children from 6 years to 8 years and address their reading readiness for 3rd grade level reading. This led to development of parents engagement and parents-teachers/schools involvement tool, (2010).
  • The Post-Doctoral Policy Leadership Fellowship program on Mental Health: Integrating Mental Health into Primary Care to reduce and ultimately eliminate disparities in mental health. This led to four community-based practical experiences and reports on integrative care, (2009 - 2010).
  • Spring Forum on Mental Health – ‘Promoting Resiliency and Positive Social Emotional Development in Children & Youth’, (2010).
  • MPH Summer fellows program aims at reducing the stigma associated with mental illness through the use of social media technology and mental health education in order to ultimately eliminate the disparities in mental health. An intense eight weeks program that resulted in development and production of eHealth communication to reduce stigma associated with mental illness through Website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blog, etc. Special topics covered in the social media platforms include: Depression among African American Women; HIV and Mental Health; Anxiety Disorders among African American college students; & Occupational Stress and Mental Health, (2010).
  • Minority Fellowship Program Intensive Summer Institute ‘Reducing Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disparities through Culturally Competent Leadership, Health Policy, Research, and Practices’: A partnership with Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA] & American Nurses Association, (2010).
  • Summer Conference ‘Integrating Mental and Primary Care in Pediatric Healthcare Setting’, (2010).
  • Summer Conference ˜The Soloist: Through the Eyes of Neuroscience, Journalism, Policy, and the Arts’ : A Collaborative effort with the Carter Center Mental Health Program, The Atlanta Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience & Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, Jr. Foundation, (2010).
For further information about the Office of Behavioral Health, please contact:
Martha N. Okafor MPH, PhD
Director, Office of Behavioral Health
The Satcher Health Leadership Institute Morehouse School of Medicine
720 Westview Drive, SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30310
Tel: 404-756-5293
Fax: 404-752-1040
Email:mokafor@msm.edu