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APHI Nexus 2021


Social Determinants of Mental Health During

and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

This multidisciplinary panel session will provide an overview of a recent mental health and social determinants needs assessment of low-income adults in the Charlotte region.  Panelists will then open a dialogue by sharing their perspectives on considerations and recommendations for tackling mental health challenges in the region as we transition out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Jan Warren-Findlow

PhD, MBA, Professor and Interim Chair, Public Health Sciences, UNC Charlotte

Jan Warren-Findlow, PhD, MBA, is Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences. Her doctoral training is in public health gerontology. Her research focuses on the areas of health disparities, aging, and psychosocial influences on health. Her primary interest is improving chronic illness self-care and disease management in vulnerable populations including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, immigrants, and the under and uninsured.



Robert J. Cramer

PhD, Associate Professor and Irwin Belk Distinguished Scholar of Health Research, Department of Public Health Sciences, UNC Charlotte

Dr. Robert J. Cramer, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and Irwin Belk Distinguished Scholar in Health Research in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His research expertise spans suicide prevention, hate crimes/violence prevention, sexual and gender minority health, military health, quantitative methods, social science, law & policy, community-engaged research, and individual (e.g., personality) and interpersonal (e.g., social-cognitive) theories. Dr. Cramer’s research has been funded by SAMHSA, U.S. Navy Clinical Investigations Program, Department of Veterans Affairs, National Science Foundation, and a variety of private sources. He also has engaged in considerable interdisciplinary research with collaborators in nursing, athletic training, law, and a variety of other disciplines.



Yu-jay Harris

MBA, President, Psychology For All 

Yu-jay Harris is the President of Psychology For All, a nonprofit organization that helps open the door to emotional well-being by providing psychotherapy services for members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community who face various barriers to accessing the mental health care they need. Mr. Harris grew up in Liberia, West Africa, where he survived a civil war. The mental health challenges from the trauma of this experience have influenced him to help others in their pursuit of mental and emotional wellness. Mr. Harris also co-wrote the book, Liberia’s Son, about his experiences in the Civil War.



Elise Howell

MA, LCMHC, Licensed Clinician, Southeast Psych

Elise Howell, MA, LCMCH, is a counselor at Southeast Psych where she creates a nonjudgmental space for clients to process their stories, build skills to move them toward their goals, and reconnect with what’s most important to them in life. She received her BA in Psychology from Winthrop University and MA in Christian Counseling from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary-Charlotte. Ms. Howell has extensive experience counseling teens, adults, and couples through her professional career and internships. She was also an author for Psych Bytes, a website that provided practical psychology to improve people’s lives through articles, videos, podcasts, webinars, live streams, and conferences.



Annelise Mennicke

MSW, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, UNC Charlotte

Dr. Annelise Mennicke, MSW, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at UNC Charlotte. She got her BS in Psychology, MSW, and PhD in Social Work from Florida State University. Her research interests include understanding categories of and intervention practices for intimate partner violence, sexual violence prevention and response programming at universities, and trauma-informed interventions for incarcerated women to decrease recidivism and improve functioning.



Michael E. Thompson

MS, DrPH, Associate Professor, and Acting Director, APHI, UNC Charlotte 

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