Ask the Expert: Spirituality & Mental Health


Ask the Expert: Spirituality & Mental Health Featuring Sidney Hankerson, MD

Sidney Hankerson, MD, is a nationally recognized expert on faith-based mental health services and researches on reducing ethnic disparities in mental health treatment.

In this Episode of Ask the Expert

We will cover all of your questions on faith and mental health, like:

– What is it about churches that make them central to achieving equitable mental health services in communities of color?

– How does spirituality affect the stigma associated with mental health?

– What does mental health care in a Church setting look like? Are medications prescribed?

– Why has there been such a negative relationship between psychiatry and the Black community?

– What measures are used to determine the effectiveness of uniting mental health and spirituality?

And more! 

About Sidney Hankerson, MD

Sidney Hankerson, MD, MBA, is Co-Director of the Columbia University Wellness Center, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and Research Scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

His NIH-funded research focuses on reducing racial/ethnic disparities in mental health treatment.

He is a nationally recognized expert at faith-based mental health services research and has presented his study results at the White House, United Nations, National Institute of Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Gracie Mansion (NYC Mayor’s Office), and numerous national academic conferences.

He was an inaugural member of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Council of Faith and Community Partnerships and served on the APA Council of Minority Mental Health and Health Disparities.

Dr. Hankerson completed a dual MD/MBA program from Emory University, where he was Medical School Class President for two years. He completed his psychiatry residency at Emory and was named Chief Resident of Psychiatry at Grady Memorial Hospital. He then completed a NIMH T32 post-doctoral research fellowship at Columbia University.

His NIMH Career Development Award (K23) focused on implementing evidence-based practices for depression in African American churches. His current NIMH-funded R01 aims to train church-based Community Health Workers to deliver culturally tailored Motivational Interviewing (MI) to church members who screen positive for depression. He was recently appointed to the editorial board of the journal Psychiatric Services.

Dr. Hankerson is also a practicing psychiatrist at the Columbia-New York Presbyterian Federally Qualified Health Center in Harlem, New York.

Follow Dr. Hankerson on Twitter and LinkedIn.