Hayden Dawes


Hayden’s research aims to promote the mental health and social well-being of people of color and LGBTQIA+ individuals by improving mental health services, systems, and policies. LGBTQIA+ people of color face interlocking systems of oppression related to their race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender that contribute to various mental health disparities. Hayden’s research will address these issues by developing and testing innovative approaches to educate mental health professionals on implicit and explicit biases, while also advancing equity for multiply marginalized client/patient populations in health, mental health, and social service organizations.

Before entering his doctoral program at the University of North Carolina’s School of Social Work, Hayden served as a clinical social worker and mental health therapist for over five years working within various sectors, including community mental health/substance abuse, veterans’ health, and private practice. Hayden has seen how mental health providers’ and organizational policies can impact the well-being of marginalized communities and clients. In addition to his practice experience, Hayden comes to research as a first-generation college student, an immigrant, and from a military family. He plans to translate his work into structural and clinical interventions alongside policymakers and critical stakeholders.


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