AASP member James L. Griffith, MD, the Leon M. Yochelson Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, George Washington University, has accepted his nomination as the newest Councilor on the Board of the American Association for Social Psychiatry. He was installed at the Board meeting in San Diego, CA on May 20, 2017.
Dr. Griffith has been a recent presenter at AASP Symposiums. As part of the AASP member delegation to the 22nd World Congress of the World Association for Social Psychiatry in New Delhi, India, he delivered a lecture on December 2, 2016 on the neurobiological basis of human discrimination and prejudice. A presenter at the third in a series of AASP symposia on social trauma, he spoke on May 23, 2017 on families and recovery, and also on mobilizing resilience and recovery from group hatred as social trauma.
In his leadership of the GWU Department and its training and educational programs, he has actively fostered the philosophy that “promoting human rights promotes mental health.” His faculty and residents are actively involved in the GWU Human Rights Clinic, programs for survivors of torture and severe trauma, and seminars that include topics such as global mental health and the mental health consequences of stigma and prejudice.
Dr. Griffith is also the recipient of the APA’s 2017 Oskar Pfister Award, given annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the dialogue concerning religion, spirituality, and psychiatry. He will deliver a lecture at the Institute for Psychiatric Services in autumn 2017 on his development of hope modules in the treatment of despair from demoralization so frequently encountered in clinical practice—seen in chronic mental and physical illness and disability, social isolation, refugees, and other traumatized, marginalized, and displaced populations.
We are indeed fortunate to have Dr. James Griffith as an AASP member and Councilor.