Federal News & Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 25, 2021 – One year ago today, George Floyd died at the hands of the police. His murder forced overdue conversations about the structural racism in the very roots of our nation. It also caused many to examine what was once considered business as usual.

The American Psychiatric Association and psychiatry were forced to confront our own past, and to examine how racism had entwined itself into our current operations, and how racism was impacting our patients on a daily basis. We began important conversations and took actions to reform our organization and to help our member psychiatrists better serve Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) patients.

Today we mourn the loss of Mr. Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and the many others who have died as a result of structural racism. We...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: May 25, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 20, 2021 – A recent national public opinion poll of U.S. adults by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), finds that over half of employees say their employers have become more accommodating to their mental health needs during the pandemic. However, slightly fewer employees than last year say they can talk openly about mental health at work.

The majority of employees working from home say they experienced negative mental health impacts, including isolation, loneliness and difficulty getting away from work at the end of the day.

  • Fifty-four percent of employees report their employer has become more accommodating to their mental health needs since the start of the pandemic while 15% said less and 31% didn’t know. However, only one in five said their employer has offered additional mental health services, down from 35% last year. Just over half of employees say they can talk...
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Author: mbourdase - Published: May 20, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 19, 2021 – The American Psychiatric Association (APA) today filed an amicus brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in the case Wit v. United Behavioral Health (UBH). Joining the brief were the Southern California Psychiatric Society, Northern California Psychiatric Society, Orange County Psychiatric Society, Central California Psychiatric Society, San Diego Psychiatric Society, American Medical Association and the California Medical Association.

On Feb. 28, 2019, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California decided that UBH, the country’s largest managed behavioral health care organization, violated its fiduciary duty to mental health beneficiaries by making coverage decisions according to guidelines established by UBH and influenced by financial...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: May 19, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 18, 2021 – The American Psychiatric Association today applauded the Biden-Harris Administration for creating a Behavioral Health Coordinating Council within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Council will work across HHS to facilitate collaboration and strategic planning, and will ensure that millions of Americans receive prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery services for mental illness and substance use disorders.

HHS also announced that $3 billion will be made available from the American Rescue Plan approved by Congress for both the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant Program and Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Program, which pass through funds to states and territories.

“In the wake of the pandemic an unprecedented, and...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: May 18, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 12, 2021 – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed a package of mental health-related legislation brought forth by the Energy and Commerce Committee. The package of bills, previously passed by the House in the 116th Congress, would help prevent suicide, expand diagnosis and treatment for substance use disorders, increase mental health screenings in the emergency room and overall, and support patients with mental health conditions and substance use disorders. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) applauded passage of the legislative package and urged the Senate to quickly follow suit.

The Pursuing Equity in Mental Health Act (H.R.1475), introduced by Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) and John Katko (R-NY), and...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: May 12, 2021

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