In The News

Wizdom Powell testifies on America's mental health crisis

Wizdom Powell, PhD, MPH, testified on America's mental health crisis at the February 2, 2022 Ways and Mean Committee hearing.  Dr. Powell directs the UConn Health Disparities Institute and serves on CHDI's board of directors.

"Americans deserve better mental health care coordination, integrated delivery systems, and policies designed to not simply help them cope with mental health challenges…but to radically heal, grow, and thrive in their aftermath. " 

In her testimony, Dr. Powell highlights four key points and five promising practices summarized below. Click here to read the full testimony.


  1. A Shadow Mental Health Pandemic is Raging in Our Nation and Youth are at the Epicenter
  2. Our Current Mental Health Labor Force is Inadequately Supplied to Effectively Serve Our Nation’s Evolving Demographics
  3. Mental Health Delivery Systems are Outdated, Fragmented and Need to Be Radically Reimagined to Meet Present and Future Demand
  4. Unmet Mental Health Needs Will Further Exacerbate Long Standing Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities and Inequities

Promising practices:

  1. Deliver, support, and incentivize social emotional learning (SEL).
  2. Stop focusing purely on the top of the labor force supply chain funnel.
  3. Reaffirm investments in training programs for students from Black, Indigenous and People of Color, first-generation graduate student, and other historically excluded populations.
  4. Support and lead efforts to democratize mental health treatment. 
  5. Focus on building structural competencies among mental health providers to address unmet social, physical, and mental health needs among historically excluded populations.


In addition to her role as a member of the board of directors for CHDI, Dr. Powell serves as an expert faculty member for CHDI's Trauma ScreenTIME initiative, which is part of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) and aims to improve child trauma screening nationwide.