Federal News & Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 22, 2021 – The American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting will be held online May 1 - 3, 2021. The theme for the meeting is "Finding Equity Through Advances in Mind and Brain in Unsettled Times," and the program will examine the concept of equity in many forms. Among the major topics to be discussed are racism, climate change, health equity, technology, COVID-19, trauma, and social determinants in community functioning.

The meeting will feature 135 sessions with live Q&A, three plenary sessions and a virtual poster hall. Some highlights include:

  • The William C. Menninger Memorial Lecture delivered by Anthony Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  • “Psychology of Racism and Nonviolence,” featuring the Rev. James...
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Author: mbourdase - Published: Feb 22, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 18, 2021 – As the COVID-19 vaccine is being administered across the country, the American Psychiatric Association called on state public health authorities today to include people with serious mental illness (SMI) and substance use disorders (SUD) to the equivalent of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Phase 1-C of their prioritization schedules. The recommendation coincides with APA’s recently released guidance document, The Role of the Psychiatrist in the Equitable Distribution of the COVID-19 Vaccine.

Phase 1-C, as defined by the CDC includes people who are 65-74 years old, essential workers, and anyone between ages 16-64 with high-...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Feb 18, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 12, 2021 – The members of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) have chosen Rebecca W. Brendel, M.D., J.D., as the medical society’s next president-elect. The results were released today but are not official until the APA Board of Trustees confirms them at its March meeting.

Dr. Brendel is director of the Master’s Degree Program at the Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics, of which she is also an associate director. She bases her clinical work in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital where she is the director of Law and Ethics at the Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior. She is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

An APA Distinguished Fellow, Brendel is currently chair of APA’s Ethics Committee, vice-chair of the Massachusetts Medical Society...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Feb 12, 2021

Washington, D.C., Feb. 2, 2021 — The American Psychiatric Association (APA) released a statement today on the situation in Rochester, NY, where, as police responded to a family disturbance call, a 9-year-old girl experiencing a mental health crisis was pepper-sprayed, pushed into the snow, and handcuffed by the police. In a body-cam video released Sunday by the Rochester police department she was calling for her father.

“Children should never be treated like this. People in psychiatric distress should never be treated like this,” said APA President Jeffrey Geller, M.D., M.P.H. “We condemn the appalling actions of the police on this video. The girl and her family have experienced this violence and are now dealing with trauma, and watching this video is distressing for many others.”

“It is sad and deeply disturbing to...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Feb 3, 2021

Washington, D.C., Feb. 1, 2021 — The American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society (PaPS) today offered their formal support to the nomination of Rachel Levine, M.D., as President Biden’s Assistant Secretary of Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Dr. Levine received APA’s 2018 Javits Award for Public Service, which is the highest honor the organization gives a public servant. She was selected for the award for her leadership in Pennsylvania in fighting the opioid epidemic, her long record of promoting collaboration between physical and mental health, and her advocacy for the LGBTQ community.

Since becoming the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health in 2017, Dr. Levine has been a critical partner in efforts to improve mental health and substance use disorder care and...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Feb 1, 2021

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