Suggested Activities

Module 1: Context: African Americans, Mental Disorders, and HIV Disease:

  1. Discuss: Which risk factors for mental disorders have you seen among your patients? How can you help your patients to address these risks? What support would help you to assist your patients in reducing these risks? How could you obtain this support?
  2. Discuss: How could you learn whether a patient believes in myths about HIV transmission? How can you effectively counter this misinformation?
  3. Discuss with colleagues how your organization can help patients overcome barriers to mental health care.
  4. Discuss: What reasons have patients given for not getting mental health care or substance abuse treatment that they need? How have you responded? What have the results been?

Module 2: What is a Mental Disorder?

  1. Discuss with colleagues: How do you screen patients for mental illnesses? How do you respond when a patient presents with a mental illness? What approaches can you use to encourage patients who need mental health treatment to seek services?
  2. Discuss with colleagues: How can mental health issues affect clinical management of HIV/AIDS? How can you address these issues?
  3. Discuss with colleagues: How do/would you determine which mental health and substance abuse treatments to try and when to try new treatment approaches?
  4. Discuss with colleagues: What do/would you do to ensure a patient understands potential adverse interactions between medication for mental illness and other medications, dietary supplements, alcohol?

Module 3: HIV Infection and Mental Disorders:

  1. List at least three ways mental illness can affect Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) adherence and how you would address them. What resources and collaboration would help you in addressing patients’ mental health issues that affect ART adherence?
  2. Describe how integrated care would benefit your patients. What would be the ideal integrated care model for your patients? Which professionals would be on the team? What mechanisms would you use to integrate care? Discuss ideas and plans for implementation with other key members of your organization.
  3. Discuss with colleagues how your team can help patients address challenges related to social and environmental circumstances, psychological factors, and biological factors? What is your role? What changes can you make to improve your practice?
  4. Review the resources for researching drug interactions and consider how you can employ them to serve patients with mental illness and HIV/AIDS.

Module 4: Untying the Knot:

  1. Identify at least two community members who could help clinicians in your organization to understand the role of family and religious institutions in your patient community.  How can you and your organization invite these community leaders to provide this information?
  2. Multicultural organizations can facilitate communication between providers and patients. Identify at least one multicultural organization that could support your practice in this way, and at least three communication needs for which you would request support. If possible, do this activity with colleagues and discuss your responses.
  3. Hollar and colleagues suggest assessing patients’ spiritual involvement. Describe how you would do this and how it would affect your practice.
  4. Review the Healthy Minds website and identify and review at least one resource that could inform your practice.




Howard University College of Medicine AIDS Education and Training Center - National Multicultural Center