Leveraging the Power of Mutual Aid, Coalitions, Leadership, and Advocacy During COVID-19

Am Psychol. 2020 Jun 25. doi: 10.1037/amp0000693. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the norms, patterns, and power structures in the United States that privilege certain groups of people over others. This article describes COVID-19 as an unprecedented catalyst for social transformation that underscores the need for multilevel and cross-sectoral solutions to address systemic changes to improve health equity for all. The authors propose that the American Psychological Association (APA) and its membership can initiate systemic change, in part, by (a) supporting mutual aid organizations that prioritize the needs of vulnerable communities; (b) leveraging the efforts and strides APA psychologists have already made within the association, in the profession, and in policymaking to attend to the health equity and the needs of marginalized communities; (c) building capacity for collaboration between a broad coalition of health associations, health experts, and policymakers to address the physio-psycho-socioeconomic needs of disadvantaged communities; and (d) increasing the APA's participation in the formulation and implementation of an advocacy agenda that prioritizes the physical and psychological health of the communities whose lives are most endangered by COVID-19. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).