Mindfulness for Health Equity Lab
We are dedicated to research, education, and advocacy to promote health among marginalized, minority populations through stress-reduction mechanisms such as mindfulness.
This lab is dedicated to improving the health of historically marginalized communities, including sexual and gender minorities, racial minorities, and individuals from low-income background. Disproportionately, individuals of these communities experience more adversity and stress in life, including identity-based stress such as stigma, discrimination, and exclusion, resulting in poor health consequences.
Our work recognizes the resilience of marginalized individuals and communities. We aim to develop evidence-based mindfulness interventions to reduce stress that minority individuals face so often and improve mental and behavioral health.
Shufang Sun, PhD
Dr. Shufang Sun is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the Brown University School of Public Health.
Dr. Sun’s research focuses on: (1) understanding minority stress and mental health among marginalized populations including LGBTQ individuals in domestic and low-and-middle income countries; (2) minority health promotion, disease prevention and management through innovative, evidence-based methods including mHealth and mindfulness-based interventions.
Supported by several NIH grants and other funding sources, her research concerns communities in the U.S. and globally.
Don Operario, PhD
Dr. Don Operario is a Professor of Public Health in the Department of Behavior and Social Sciences at the Brown University School of Public Health. His research concerns the social psychological determinants of HIV, mental health, and related health issues (substance use, structural violence, access to services) in historically marginalized communities. Further, his work focuses on the lived experiences associated with social inequality, with an emphasis on understanding the perspectives of intersectional identities and addressing health and psychosocial disparities.
His NIH-funded projects examine these public health issues among racial and ethnic minority populations as well as sexual and gender minority populations in the United States, the Philippines, China, South Korea, Kenya, and South Africa.
Arryn Guy, PhD
Dr. Arryn A. Guy is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Brown University School of Public Health and the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
Dr. Guy’s research focuses on the translation of evidence-based behavioral health interventions from testing to implementation using community-engaged research methods, with the ultimate goal of increasing rates of HIV viral suppression and reducing HIV-related co-morbidities among racial/ethnic and sexual/gender minorities.
David Zelaya, PhD
Dr. David Zelaya is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Brown University School of Public Health. He is also a research fellow at Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Hospital.
Dr. Zelaya’s research focuses on studying the experiences of individuals with multiple socially stigmatized identities specifically, queer people of color. He is interested in ameliorating health disparities within these populations through behavioral health treatment development and adaptation.
Ty Scott, BA
Ty is a second year Master’s student at Brown University School of Public Health. They graduated from Brown for undergrad with a BA in Public Health. Their central research interests are PrEP access, HIV and STI/STD health, and health equity. They began research work in undergrad, assisting research teams dedicated to health behaviors surrounding HIV prevention among incarcerated individuals, mindfulness within the LGBTQ+ community, and diet among women with early life adversity. Their thesis will review effective recruitment tactics for African American study participants that identify as sexual or gender minorities. In their free time, they enjoy varying creative outlets, most particularly modern dance, makeup, and cooking.
Matt is a senior at Brown University concentrating in Psychology. At Brown, Matt works as a research assistant at Brown’s School of Public Health and Emory University School of Medicine. Matt is also a teaching assistant (TA) for statistics courses and is interested in data science. Outside of class, he plays the cello in Brown’s Chamber and Applied Music program. Matt’s research interests pertain to social determinants of health and intervention development.
Miguel is a senior at Brown University concentrating in Public Health. On campus, he is one of the chapter co-coordinators for Project LETS and works closely with the Swearer Center. Specifically, Miguel is interested in the role that mental health plays in the lives of marginalized identities as well as interventions aimed at addressing these disparities.
Wang, Y., Feng, Y., Han, M., Duan, Z., Wilson, A., Sun, S., & Chen, R. (2021). Methods of attempted suicide and risk factors in LGBTQ+ youth. Child Abuse & Neglect. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2021.105352
Qiao, S., Sun, S., Tam, C. C., Li, X., Zhou, Y., & Shen, Z. (2021). Provider burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic in HIV clinics in Guangxi, China. (in press). Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.
Donofry, S. D., Stillman, C. M., Hanson, J. L., Sheridan, M., Sun, S., Loucks, E., & Erickson, K. (2021). Promoting brain health through physical activity among adults exposed to early life adversity: Potential mechanisms and theoretical framework. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.09.051
Kang, C., Sun, S., Yang, Z., Fan, X., Yuan, J., Xu, L., Wei, Y., Tong, H., & Yang, J. (2021). The psychological effect of internet-based mindfulness-based stress reduction on survivors of breast cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Frontiers in Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.738579
Wang, Y., Duan, Z., Wang, G., Wilson, A., Sun, S., Yang, Y., & Chen, R. (2021). Identifying subgroups of sexual minority adolescents at risk of suicidality using latent profile analysis. (in press). Preventive Medicine.
Lu, X., Pan, G., Wang, X., Xia, W., Zhao, X., He, Q., Zhang, H., Wang, J., Sun, Y., Liu, T., Sun, S., Yang, C., Zaller, N., Zhang, Z., & Operario, D. (2021). User preferences for a mHealth approach to support HIV self-testing and linkage to care services for MSM in China. (in press). AIDS Education and Prevention.
Whiteley, L., Craker, L., Sun, S., Tarantino, N., Hershkowitz, D., Moskowitz, J., Arnold, T., Haubrick, K., Olsen, E., Mena, L., & Brown, L. K. (2021). Factors associated with PrEP adherence among MSM in Jackson, Mississippi. Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Services. Online First Publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/15381501.2021.1956666
Tarantino, N., Matthews, C., Sun, S., Orchowski, L., Harrison, A., Abrahams, N., Berkowitz, A., Akande, M., & Kuo, C. (2021). Unique and shared correlates of sexual violence perpetration and sexual risk behavior among South African adolescent boys. AIDS Education and Prevention. https://doi.org/10.1521/aeap.2021.33.5.424
*Nardi, W., Loucks, E., Springs, S., Operario, D., Kronish, I. M., Gaudiano, B., & Sun, S. (2021). Mindfulness-based interventions for medication adherence: A systematic review and narrative synthesis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 149, 110585. Senior author, PI of research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2021.110585
Sun, S., *Nardi, W., Loucks, E., & Operario, D. (2021). Mindfulness-based interventions for sexual and gender minorities: A systematic review. Mindfulness. Online First Publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-021-01710-9
Sun, S., Goldberg, S. B., Loucks, E., & Brewer, J. A. (2021). Mindfulness-based interventions for people of color: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychotherapy Research. Online First Publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/10503307.2021.1937369
Sun, S., Lin, D., Goldberg, S., Shen, Z., Chen, P., Qiao, S., Brewer, J., Loucks, E., & Operario, D. (2021). A mindfulness-based mobile health (mHealth) intervention among psychologically distressed university students in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Counseling Psychology. Online First Publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/cou0000568
Taylor, V., Moseley, I., Sun, S., Ludwig, V., Roy, A., Smith, R., & Brewer, J. A. (2021). Effects of a digitized therapeutic mindfulness intervention on craving-related eating outcomes and eating behavior reward valuation. Journal of Behavioral Addictions. Online First Publication. https://doi.org/10.1556/2006.2021.00020
Sun, S., Yang, C., Zaller, N., Zhang, Z., Zhang, H., & Operario, D. (2021). Willingness to use PrEP and adherence self-efficacy among men who have sex with men with recent condomless anal sex in urban China. AIDS & Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-021-03274-0
Sun, S., Lin, D., & Operario, D. (2021). Interests in COVID-19 vaccine trials among university students in China: Willingness, reasons for hesitancy, and demographic and psychosocial determinants. Preventive Medicine Reports. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2021.101350
Sun, S., Goldberg, S. B., Lin, D., Qiao, S., & Operario, D. (2021). Psychiatric symptoms, risk, and protective factors among university students in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic in China. Globalization and Health, 17, 15. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12992-021-00663-x
Goldberg, S. B., Riordan, K. M., Sun, S., & Davidson, R. (2021). The empirical status of mindfulness-based interventions: A systematic review of 44 meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials. Perspectives on Psychological Science. Online First Publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691620968771
Qiao, S., Yang, X., Sun, S., Li, X., Mi, T., Zhou, Y., & Shen, Z. (2020). Challenges to HIV service delivery and the impacts on patient care during COVID-19: Perspectives of HIV care providers in Guangxi, China. AIDS Care. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540121.2020.1849532
Mi, T., Yang, X., Sun, S., Li, X., Tam, C., Zhou, Y., & Shen, Z. (2020). Mental health problems of HIV healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic: The interactive effects of stressors and coping. AIDS and Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-020-03073-z
Tam, C. C., Sun, S., Yang, X., Li, X., Zhou, Y., Shen, Z. (2020). Psychological distress among HIV providers during the COVID-19 pandemic in China: Mediating roles of institutional support and resilience. AIDS and Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-020-03068-w
Sun, S., Hoyt, W. T., Tarantino, N., Pachankis, J. E., Whiteley, L., Operario, D., & Brown, L. K. (2020). Cultural context matters: Testing the minority stress model among Chinese sexual minority men. Journal of Counseling Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1037/cou0000535
Goldberg, S. B., Riordan, K. M, Sun, S., Kearney, D. J., & Simpson, T. L. (2020). Efficacy and acceptability of mindfulness-based interventions for military veterans: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research. Online First Publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2020.110232
Arnold, T., G. Rogers, B., L. Norris, A., Schierberl Scherr, A., Haubrick, K., E. Renna, M., Sun, S., Danforth, M. M., Chu, C. T., Silva, E. S., Whiteley, L. B., & Pinkston, M. (2020). A brief transdiagnostic pandemic mental health maintenance intervention. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1080/09515070.2020.1769026
Sun, S., Hou, J., Chen, Y., Lu, Y., Brown, L. K., & Operario. (2020). Challenges to HIV care and psychological health during the COVID-19 pandemic among people living with HIV in China. AIDS & Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-020-02903-4
Sun, S., Lin, D., & Operario, D. (2020). Need for a population health approach to understand and address psychosocial consequences of COVID-19. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. https://doi.org/10.1037/tra0000618
Si, P., Sun, S., Li, X., Chen, J., Xiong, Y., He, Y., Pachankis, J. E. (2020) A pilot cultural adaptation of LGB-affirmative CBT for young Chinese sexual minority men’s mental and sexual health. Psychotherapy. https://doi.org/10.1037/pst0000318
Sun, S., Pachankis, J. E., Li, X., & Operario, D. (2020). Addressing minority stress and mental health among Chinese men who have sex with men: A systematic review. Current HIV/AIDS Reports, 17, 35-62. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11904-019-00479-w
Sun, S., Hoyt, W. T., & Pachankis, J.E. (2020). Predicting sexual risk behaviors in the age of internet: The case of internet-using Chinese men who have sex with men (MSM). AIDS Care. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540121.2019.1668525
Sun, S., Budge, S. L., Shen, W., Liu, M., Xu, G, & Feng, S. (2020). Minority stress and health: A qualitative investigation on the experiences of men who have sex with men in China and implications for health research and interventions. Social Science and Medicine, 252, 112917. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.112917
Sun, S., & Farber, E. (2020). An intersectionality-informed psychotherapy approach to reduce HIV stigma. Psychotherapy, 57(1), 23-28. https://doi.org/10.1037/pst0000265
Sun, S., Crooks, DiClemente, R. J., & Sales, J. M. (2020). Perceived neighborhood violence and crime, emotion regulation, and PTSD symptoms among justice-involved African American girls. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 12(6), 593-598. https://doi.org/10.1037/tra0000562. PMID: 32237877
Sun, S., Pickover, A. M., Goldberg, S. B., Bhimji, J., Nguyen, J. K., Evans, A., Patterson, B, & Kaslow, N. K. (2019). For whom cognitively-based compassion training (CBCT) work? An analysis of predictors and moderators of intervention outcome among African American suicide attempters. Mindfulness, 10(11), 2327-2340. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-019-01207-6
Offers free and confidential peer support and local resource database:
This LGBT-affirming online counseling network is where students can sign up and be matched with an LGBT-affirming mental health provider for low-cost sessions. They also have apps for Android and iPhone.
Provides crisis intervention, support, and resources for gay male survivors of domestic violence
Designed for members of the transgender community in crisis and staffed by transgender people. Open 11 a.m. to 5 a.m. EST daily.
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and 24/7 suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning youth. The Trevor Project also offers other resources including the LGBT safe space social networking site, TrevorSpace. There are trained crisis counselors available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678-678.
Text “start” to 741-741 to initiate text-based counseling.
(The youth-oriented loveisrespect.org also links to this page, and you can also text LOVEIS to 22522 for help)
They also have chat services embedded directly in their website
SAMHSA’s National Helpline
1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service)