Decolonizing and Unsettling
Mental Health Webinar Series

Although the western medical model has dominated cultural understanding of mental health since its inception, there is a growing awareness of the need to include diverse voices and experiences in the treatment and healing processes.

There is very little training in formal education today on the ways that settler colonialism informed the mental health system. In many cases, traditional forms of therapy feed into ideas of neoliberalism that disregard the context in which communities of color face racism and systemic discrimination. This cultural lens perpetuates harmful treatment protocols, ideology, and interventions for any population that is not white, heteronormative, and middle class.

The aim of this series is to start a conversation about what decolonizing and unsettling mental health entails. Presenters from a variety of fields, perspectives, and global orientation speak on their experiences within mental health and what it means to truly do the work of decolonizing and unsettling the mental health field.

What this webinar series provides:

  • Radical Mental Health Advocacy & Ecopsychology
  • The Difference Between Cultural Competencies Verses Decolonization of Mental Health Training and Practice: A Call for an Intersectional, Anti-Capitalist Lens
  • Anti-Racism in Behavioral Health
  • The Meeting of Selves - A Decolonizing Approach to Mental Health
  • Global Mental Health, Colonality & Epistemicide
  • Decolonizing the Heart and Mind
  • Resources to continue your decolonizing and unsettling journey


We know that folks are experiencing screen fatigue and burnout, which is why when you purchase this series you will have full access to the contents long-term. You can take a break and return at any point.

At a Glance

  • Six 60-120 Minute On-Demand Webinars

  • Additional Resources

  • Percentage of Profits Allocated to BIPOC Scholarships

  • Pay-What-You-Can &
    Payment Plan Options

We believe that the wisdom shared in this webinar series is important- therefore, this series is offered through a Pay-What-You-Can model, in order to be more accessible. There are multiple pricing options, ranging from $25 - $300, for you to choose from based upon your individual situation.

For all pricing options, please click the button above where you will be directed to the course information and registration page. We believe it's important to support and uplift - therefore, a portion of the profits gained through the full "Pay-It-Forward" price will go towards BIPOC students and facilitators of the Academy.

Check out the Series Trailer

Questions we asked our Featured Speakers...

    • What does decolonizing (or unsettling) mental or behavioral health mean to you?
    • Have you been involved in the mental health system and how have you been impacted based on your race/ethnicity or membership of a minority group?
    • What work are you doing in the realm of decolonizing mental health?
    • How do you see settler colonialism and white supremacy impacting mental health services both in providers and consumers?
    • What ways do you envision the mental health system shifting to be more inclusive, effective, culturally compassionate and less destructive?
    • What are some ways mental health providers can start or take personal action with unsettling/decolonizing mental health?

Speaker Highlights

Explore a bit more about the featured speakers and watch teaser clips of each webinar down below.
Our series is designed for you to pause and come back at your leisure. When you purchase this series, you'll have access to its contents long-term.

Anti-Racism in
Behavioral Health

(view teaser clip below)

Rashaad Abdur-Rahman, MSSW

Rashaad Abdur-Rahman's personal mission statement is to work boldly to achieve racial and social justice. He has completed executive training in leadership at Harvard's Cross-Sector Partnerships course, the National Council for Behavioral Health clinical models including EMDR, TF-CBT, Seven Challenges, Trauma Informed Care, and Motivational Interviewing.

He received his Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Berea College, and his Masters in Science and Social Work from the University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work in 2008. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Social Work at Spalding University. Rashaad has worked in the field of child and family mental health services in various roles as a direct care counselor, case manager, therapist, consultant, trainer, supervisor, and program administrator. In addition to these roles, he has served as the Director of the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods in Louisville, KY and currently works at the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services as an Executive Advisor.

Rashaad is the Founder and CEO of the Racial Healing Project, a company dedicated to helping groups, businesses, and organizations develop comprehensive processes and infrastructure to integrate an anti-racist paradigm that is results driven. The Racial Healing Project provides training, organizational change management, and strategic planning to cross sector organizations (government, philanthropy, non-profit, private, etc.) nationally.

He has been an adjunct professor at Spalding University, and guest lecturer at Berea College, Western Governors University, University of Louisville, and the University of Kentucky. He serves as co-chair of the Metro United Way Black L.O.V.E Philanthropic Partnership.

Rashaad believes deeply in the power of community and that in order to foster the equitable and transformative society that we all deserve; we must work tirelessly to secure racial, economic and social justice.

Additional ways to support: Black Love Philanthropic Partnership 

Radical Mental Health Advocacy
and Ecopsychology

(view teaser clip below)

Pinar Ateş Sinopoulos-Lloyd

Pınar is an Indigenous multi-species futurist, mentor, consultant and eco-philosopher; co-founder of Queer Nature, an “organism” stewarding earth-based queer community through ancestral skills, interspecies relations and rites of passage.

Enchanted by the liminal, Pınar is a future transcestor of Wanka Quechua, Turkish and Chinese lineages. A central prayer that guides them is envisioning decolonially-informed queer ancestral-futurism through multi-species accountability and the remediation of human supremacy in the Chthulucene. Their prismatic writing is fed by this prayer and is rooted in multi-gender/multi-cultural/multi-racial parallel realities as a neurodivergent. They are in a lifelong apprenticeship to the ecotone of riparian systems.

Their relationship with queerness, hybridity, neurodivergence, Indigeneity and belonging guided their work in developing Queer Ecopsychology with a somatic and depth approach through a decolonial lens. As a survival skills mentor, one of their core missions is to uplift and amplify the brilliant “survival skills” that BIPOC, LGBTQ2SIA+ and other intersectional systemically targeted populations already have in their resilient bodies and stories of survivance.

They were the 2020 recipient of Audubon National Society's National Environmental Champion as well as R.I.S.E. Indigenous 2020 Art & Poetry Fellowship. Pınar is the founder of @indigequeers; founding Council Member of Intersectional Environmentalist; trans ambassador of Native Womens Wilderness; and a founding member of Diversify Outdoors coalition. They also are adjunct faculty at the WE Immersion at Weaving Earth and facilitate and design multi-day programs at Colorado College and the University of Colorado Boulder with their other half/co-visionary partner/co-founder of Queer Nature, So Sinopoulos-Lloyd.

Follow their work on Instagram via @queerquechua + @queernature

Additional ways to support: PayPal

The Difference Between Cultural
Competencies Versus Decolonization of
Mental Health Training and Practice:

A Call For an Intersectional,
Anti-Capitalist Lens

(view teaser clip below)

Dr. Richard Q. Shin

Richard Q. Shin is an associate professor in the Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education department in the College of Education at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the coordinator of the School Counseling program and holds affiliate appointments in Counseling Psychology, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Asian American Studies. Dr. Shin is also a Core Research Scientist in the University of Maryland Prevention Research Center. His scholarly interests are primarily focused on how systemic, institutionalized forms of discrimination like racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ableism, and cissexism are perpetuated by mental health professionals in subtle and overt ways. Dr. Shin is a leading social justice scholar in the counseling and psychology fields. His article, “Is Allison more likely than Lakisha to get a call back from counseling professionals: A racism audit study” was the first study using audit methodology to be published in counseling psychology. Dr. Shin also published the first content analysis in psychology on the intersectionality framework, as well as developed a comprehensive measure of critical consciousness. Dr. Shin’s teaching, research and consulting are guided by a commitment to creating a more just and equitable society for devalued and marginalized groups.

Additional ways to support: Stop AAPI Hate

"In this discussion, I provide my perspectives on the shift from the traditional "cookbook" approach to diversity toward the current social justice paradigm in psychology. From my positionality as a second generation Korean American, I contextualize the urgent need for mental health professionals to engage in systemic social justice advocacy in order to address the terrible manifestations of white supremacy and other forms of oppression. In the current moment, this is exemplified by the continued murdering of Black individuals at the hands of police, as well as the dramatic increase in anti-Asian hate and violence. In addition to the need for mental health professionals to develop critical consciousness and cultural humility, I call for an increase in anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist discourses within our fields."

The Meeting of Selves -

A Decolonizing Approach
to Mental Health

(view teaser clip below)

Dr. Elisa Lacerda-Vandenborn

Dr. Elisa Lacerda-Vandenborn was born and grew up in Curitiba, Brazil and made Canada home in 2004. Dr. Lacerda-Vandenborn’s research focuses on philosophical and theoretical ideas about the self; how these are interpreted and translated into social institutional practices, beliefs, and legislation and the social implications associated with them. She critiques individualistic approaches in favour of more communal perspectives of selfhood in learning, teaching, and research, particularly for education, counselling psychology, and child welfare. This ontological work is closely related with issues of relational and situated epistemologies, community-led, based, and participatory methodologies, and communal axiological principles in the social sciences.

Her community-engaged scholarship promotes communal perspectives of child welfare, psychosocial service provision, and education, where the well-being of children, family, and community are inextricably linked, and interventions are fundamentally supportive, inclusive, and coordinated. This work is developed in partnership with Indigenous organizations and communities in Canada and Brazil. These partnerships are forged around mutual interest and understandings of the need to advance interventions, programs, practices, and legislation that promote wholesome, stable, and meaningful responses that support the wellbeing of children and families in the context of communities and the socio-cultural and political landscape. This communal psychosocial lens respects and seeks to advance the vision and aspirations voiced by communities.

In this webinar Dr. Lacerda-Vandenborn discusses how psychology has been complicit in colonization and the need to decolonize psychological practice to assume a moral stand in society. She explains that change starts by revising widely accepted beliefs, ideas, and methodologies currently used in mainstream psychology. Central to all of them is very idea of what the ‘self’ is and what constitutes them. She explains that selfhood theory and practice are fundamental to being socially responsive and responsible for individuals, communities, and societies; advancing the decolonization and Indigenization of psychological practice; and enacting an ethical practice wherein the wellbeing of individuals are intertwined with that of communities and societies.

Global Mental Health,
Colonality and Epistemicide

(view teaser clip below)

Dr. China Mills

China’s research traces different facets of the global mental health assemblage. She explores the ways diagnoses travel and circulate around the world, and what happens when issues such as distress, suicide, or terrorism get framed as global public health challenges. Her work looks into how the psy-disciplines and psychotropic drugs function in local and global contexts of entrenched inequality, chronic poverty, (neo)colonial oppression, border imperialism, and increasingly under the politics of austerity. China also carries out critical research into suicides linked to welfare reform, economic reform, immigration detention, and corporate practices, and is a member of the Critical Suicide Studies Network.

China is the Principal Investigator on a British Academy grant looking at the ‘social life’ (production, circulation, use and resistance) of global mental health technologies designed to be used all over the world. She was also Principal Investigator on a previous British Academy grant researching the use of behaviour change technologies in India, South Africa and Australia. China’s funding enables her to work alongside Dr. Eva Hilberg, a postdoctoral researcher, also based at City.

In 2014, China published the book ‘Decolonizing Global Mental Health: the Psychiatrization of the Majority World’ (Routledge), which draws on research with NGOs and user-survivor organisations in India, and analyses global mental health policies as forms of colonial discourse. Since her book, she has published widely in leading journals, including: Critical Public Health; Globalization and Health; Critical Sociology Policy; and Sociology of Health and Illness. China's research has been featured in the Indian Express, Discover Society, the Conversation, Mad in Asia, and the Weeks Centre for Social Policy.

Additional ways to support: Disabled People's Against the Cuts (DPAC)

Decolonizing the
Heart and Mind

(view teaser clip below)

Dr. Tone Rawlings

Dr. Tone Rawlings is an artist, scientist, educator, and guide that helps people decolonize the heart and mind so they can tap into their higher wisdom and unwind from White-supremacy culture to heal the soul wound.

They work with individuals, organizations, and companies. Included in their program is a curriculum and practices to guide people to identify, track, and heal internalized White-supremacy constructs that get passed down through intergenerational conditioning and epigenetic trauma.

Additional ways to support: PayPal,
Venmo Tone-Rawlings, website

Decolonizing the mind = the act of recognizing the methods of colonization, of understanding that our every decisions are influenced by our colonized mindsets, and of tracking the colonized operating system to transmute self-limiting stories into a gateway to liberation

It’s the journey of why, how, and with what your heart and mind has been colonized. It enables you to be present and recognize the colonizer’s ideas in the moment. It is a developing of a witness to the trauma programming. It is a developing of a process to question your actions/reactions and to reframe past memories so that one can release the strangle of trauma and self-limiting stories that keeps us trapped reliving the past and keeps us from authentic creation of a future.

Decolonizing the heart = the act of freeing oneself from those mental limitations through the deep love, compassion, and forgiveness of the self. 

It’s a spiritual journey by which a person undoes the damage done by domination of personal narratives by the colonizer’s ideas. It is a process toward personal and collective liberation. It is a reclamation of personal, ancestral, epigenetic, and collective sovereignty.

We believe that the wisdom shared in this webinar series is important- therefore,
this series is offered through a Pay-What-You-Can model, in order to be more accessible. There are 12 pricing
options, ranging from $25 - $300, for you to choose from based upon your individual situation.

For all pricing options, please click the button above where you will be directed to the course information and registration page.
We believe it's important to support and uplift - therefore, a portion of the profits gained through the full "Pay-It-Forward"
price will go towards BIPOC students and facilitators of the Academy.