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Welcome to the Access to Community-driven, Culturally-responsive, and Equitable Supports and Services Lab


In the ACCESS Lab, our work centers around reducing inequities in access to and engagement in quality mental healthcare for minoritized youth and families. We approach our work from a health equity perspective that seeks to address the effects of structural marginalization (i.e., racism, classism, sexism, transphobia, etc.) on families from minoritized identities.


Main Lines of Inquiry

(1) Examining and addressing structural and systemic barriers to engagement and quality care delivery

(2) Implementing mental health supports in community settings

(3) Increasing the cultural responsiveness of mental health services and systems


We are committed to community-engaged research and practice that centers the needs and values of frontline providers, youth, and their families. In addition, we utilize equity informed implementation science methods and frameworks to examine the multilevel determinants of quality care delivery and to develop effective strategies to address barriers.


Lab Values

Cultural Humility. Cultural humility is an active process of learning and self-reflection to ensure that we promote equity and social justice and resist an oppressive status quo. Cultural humility necessitates: a stance of openness and curiosity to understand others’ perceptions, identities, and worldviews; commitment to self-reflection of intersecting identities, experiences, and biases; action towards reducing power imbalances and structures that uphold oppression. Given cultural humility is a lifelong commitment to learning from and orienting toward others, making mistakes, acknowledging them, and repairing harm is part of the process.


Community Engagement. Community-engagement is a collaborative approach to research that equitably involves community partners to increase the relevance, fit, and sustainability of mental health supports. It places value on community members’ knowledge, experiences, and ability to identify their own needs and solutions. Importantly, it requires an intentional focus on co-creation and power sharing throughout the research development and implementation process.


Being a Graduate Student in the ACCESS Lab

We are interested in welcoming students whose research and career goals are aligned with our lab and values. Students will be mentored through involvement in our current projects as well as through their own independent research. Students will be most successful if they have had mentored independent research experience (e.g., by conducting a thesis, leading an independent project, making a first-authored conference presentation), as our program is research focused. Students will be mentored to engage scholarly activities including conference presentations, writing manuscripts, and submitting grant applications. In addition, all students will be expected to develop a community partnership based on their interest to inform their work.