Understanding Colonization and How it Impacts Mental Health Today

Friday, July 17, 2020
12:00 – 1:00 PM – PT


This presentation is focused on bringing awareness to the effects of colonialism on the mental health system, and those is serves. Many people think/view the concept of colonialism in a historical context, rather than recognizing and acknowledging its current existence and impact on how we approach, assess and treat people. Decolonization is the restoration and acceptance of cultural practices and values that were once abandoned, removed or hidden as a result of colonialism. Let’s start decolonizing.


Victoria Blacksmith is first generation born in the US, her people are from south of the border in Guadalajara, Mexico. Victoria is also the first (in her family) to earn/receive a Masters degree, she also holds a Bachelors degree in Psychology and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Victoria is passionate about research and addressing existing and historic inequities experienced by minority populations. Victoria is currently working on her dissertation with a focus on decolonizing mental health. This is the restoration and acceptance of cultural practices and values that were once abandoned, removed, or outlawed because of colonialism.

Victoria is an Organizational Consultant who provides support primarily to minority-owned non-profit organizations. During her career, Victoria has served as the Executive Director for the Friendship House Association of American Indians, working with individuals experiencing substance use and co-occurring disorders. Victoria served as a Supervising Detention Officer for the Yolo County Department of Probation for a decade, working with incarcerated youth and youth involved in immigration proceedings. Victoria currently serves as the Clinical Director for Granite Recovery Centers and provides individual psychotherapy in private practice.