Federal News & Issues

Top executives from sixteen of the nation’s leading mental health advocacy organizations applaud the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for adding mood disorders, including depression, and schizophrenia spectrum disorders to its list of underlying medical conditions associated with higher risk for severe COVID-19.

Last Thursday’s updated guidance from the CDC reflects the lengthy body of research confirming the additional risk from these conditions. Research has found schizophrenia in particular is second only to age as the greatest risk factor for COVID-19 death.

Additionally, other research demonstrates that a very modest effort to encourage vaccination leads to consistently higher rates of vaccination for people with severe mental illness than that of the general population.

This new guidance by...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Oct 20, 2021

Washington, D.C., Oct. 13, 2021 — During the COVID-19 pandemic, addiction treatment providers rapidly pivoted to providing services via telehealth. New research highlights the potential for telehealth delivery to increase patient engagement by improving access and convenience. However, it also finds limited evidence that telehealth results in better retention or other outcomes relative to in-person treatment. The research appears online today in Psychiatric Services, a journal of the American Psychiatric Association, ahead of the organization’s Mental Health Services Conference.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, only about 27% of specialty addiction facilities had telehealth capabilities and telehealth was used in about 0.1% of...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Oct 13, 2021

Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2021 — Today, on World Mental Health Day, the American Psychiatric Association Foundation (APAF) is launching a new monthly podcast to engage the public in conversations about the current mental health crisis. Each episode of Mentally Healthy Nation will be centered around an aspect of mental health that impacts the community, where people live, learn, work and worship.

“One of the most important things we can do to help ease the stigma of mental illness and to reach a more mentally healthy nation is to turn up the volume on the issue,” said APAF Executive Director Rawle Andrews, Jr., Esq. “This is a time in our country when everyone is feeling the impacts of stress, and many are dealing with depression, anxiety, substance use disorders or other mental health disorders. We want to keep the conversation...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Oct 10, 2021

Letter to Hill leadership details mental health priorities
as reconciliation package is considered

Washington, D.C., Oct. 8, 2021 – As Congress considers a reconciliation package to address funding President Biden’s Build Back Better Act, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) is expressing strong support for several provisions within the Act that are critical for enhancing efforts to improve mental health across the nation at this time of great need. In a letter sent to House and Senate leadership, the APA detailed essential provisions to include within the package.  They are:

Health insurance cost-sharing to assist patients in getting acute and chronic mental and physical health...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Oct 8, 2021

Washington, D.C., Oct. 6, 2021 — “I am a homosexual. I am a psychiatrist.” So began the speech presented by Dr. H. Anonymous (who later revealed himself as Dr. John Fryer) at the 1972 American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting held in Dallas, Texas. The story of Dr. Fryer, Barbara Gittings, Frank Kameny, and others who worked together to push the APA to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is being told in a powerful new documentary, CURED. The film will air as the season premiere of Independent Lens on PBS on National Coming Out Day, Monday, Oct. 11.

The documentary, which recently won the American Historical Association’s John E. O’Connor Film Award for best historical documentary of 2021, features...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Oct 6, 2021



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