Dr. Freida Hopkins Outlaw was named the Academic Program Consultant to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) at the American Nurses Association on September 1, 2015, after having served on the MFP National Advisory Committee for more than a decade. Previously she was an Adjunct Professor, Department of Human and Organizational Development, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee and an Associate Professor at Meharry Medical College where she served as Director of the Meharry Youth Health and Wellness Center, a health care delivery system for adolescents with a special focus on LGBTQ youth. Prior to this appointment, for eight years she was the Assistant Commissioner, Division of Special Populations, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. In this role she focused on developing policies and initiatives that improved treatment for children with mental health and substance abuse issues. In addition, she provided leadership in securing thirty-two million dollars of federal funding to support transforming the state’s mental health system for children and their families. And was part of the leadership that was instrumental in passing legislation to create the Children’s Mental Health Council that was required to develop a plan for a statewide system of care implementation, which continues today.
Dr. Outlaw is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and is an active member of the Psychiatric Mental Health and Substance Abuse Expert Panel. She has published in the areas of depression; the impact of racism and stress on the health of African Americans; management of aggression, seclusion and restraint; religion, spirituality, the meaning of prayer for people with cancer; children’s mental health and substance use in the elderly. She is an editor of the newly published Policy and Politics in Nursing and Health Care, 7th Edition. Dr. Outlaw has received recognition for her excellence in clinical practice and for her work to improve the mental health of children and their families.