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Monnica Williams, PhD

School of Psychology, University of Ottawa

Diversity, Equity, and Access in Psychedelic Medicine

Monnica strives to clarify the gap between mental illness and minority groups. She regarded minorities to be marginalized in studies on anxiety, depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Her work has indeed proven that minorities are underrepresented in North American OCD trials. She holds her position that racial discrimination is a source of trauma to minority groups, which then manifests itself as mental illnesses to the victims of such trauma.

Biography

Dr. Monnica T. Williams is a board-certified licensed clinical psychologist and Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa, in the School of Psychology, where she is the Canada Research Chair in Mental Health Disparities. She is also the Clinical Director of the Behavioral Wellness Clinic in Connecticut, where she provides supervision and training to clinicians for empirically-supported treatments. Prior to her move to Canada, Dr. Williams was on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School (2007-2011), the University of Louisville in Psychological and Brain Sciences (2011-2016), where she served as the Director of the Center for Mental Health Disparities, and the University of Connecticut (2016-2019) where she had appointments in both Psychological Science and Psychiatry. Dr. Williams' research focuses on African American mental health, culture, and psychopathology, and she has published over 100 scientific articles on these topics. Current projects include the assessment of race-based trauma, unacceptable thoughts in OCD, improving cultural competence in the delivery of mental health care services, and interventions to reduce racism. This includes her work as a PI in a multisite study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD for people of color. She also gives diversity trainings nationally for clinical psychology programs, scientific conferences, and community organizations. Dr. Williams is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), having served as the diversity delegate from Kentucky for the APA State Leadership Conference for two consecutive years. She has served as the African American SIG leader for Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT), and she serves as an associate editor of The Behavior Therapist and New Ideas in Psychology. She also serves on the editorial board of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, and the Journal of Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders. She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International OCD Foundation, and co-founded their Diversity Council. Her work has been featured in several major media outlets, including NPR, CBS, Huffington Post, and the New York Times.

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