Contact Information

Chapman Perelman Fellow
Department of Psychiatry-
Substance Abuse Division
710 W 168th Street, 12 Floor
New York, NY 10032

Telephone: 646-397-1520

Membership Information

Membership Category:
Research Scientists

Member Since: 2014


Mayumi Okuda Benavides M.D.



M.D. Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota/Colombia

About Me

My deep commitment to working with underserved populations evolved from experiences growing up in Colombia, South America. I worked in epidemiology of psychiatric disorders in the United States focusing on substance abuse (including gambling addiction) and minority groups. I have also worked on gender differences in psychiatric disorders. Most recently, my research has concentrated on the study of trauma in the United States, with a particular emphasis on Intimate Partner Violence. These studies provided evidence of the immense effect of violence on mental health by demonstrating a significantly higher incidence of a wide range of mood, anxiety and substance use disorders in Intimate Partner Violence survivors that are not limited to only a few psychiatric conditions. They also show associations between IPV perpetration and victimization, childhood adverse events, and social networks. I was a coauthor of a study examining the shared and specific effects of different types of childhood maltreatment on the risk of adulthood IPV victimization, perpetration and reciprocal violence.
I joined the Women’s Program in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University supported as the Chapman Perelman Foundation fellow charged with providing psychiatric services to IPV survivors at the Bronx Family Justice Center (BXFJC). With the aims of strengthening the collaboration with the BXFJC and improve the current delivery of services of a population vastly comprised by ethnic minority groups, I applied and was accepted into Columbia University’s Community Based Participatory Research approaches (CBPR) course at the Irving Institute of Translational Research and the 2015 NIMHD Translational Health Disparities Course

Research Interests

I was born in Colombia and received my medical training at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota. Thus, I’m fully bilingual and have worked with a wide range of patient populations, focusing my clinical work on minorities. I received extensive training in pharmacological treatments as well as psychotherapeutic approaches including cognitive behavioral therapy, problem solving psychotherapy and motivational interviewing. I have worked on the epidemiology of mood, anxiety and substance use disorders with a focus on trauma, gender differences, and minorities. I have a particular expertise in the epidemiology childhood abuse and intimate partner violence (IPV). While I have gathered experience in epidemiology, the next step in my career is to utilize the information from epidemiology and learn to apply it to real world settings. My long-term goal is to pursue a career that integrates clinical work and research, two areas that I view as tightly intertwined and mutually enriching.

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