Federal News & Issues

ARLINGTON, Va. Oct. 27, 2016 — The White House’s Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force issued new recommendations and actions today to increase parity protections that, if enacted, would further advance the goal of ensuring insurance coverage of treatment for mental illness, including substance use disorders, is equal to that of other medical illnesses. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) released the following statement:

“APA welcomes this much-needed report to strengthen implementation and enforcement of existing mental health parity laws,” said APA President Maria A. Oquendo, M.D., Ph.D. “Full implementation and stronger enforcement will help ensure that psychiatric conditions are treated the same as other illnesses and individuals can access the treatment they need.”

The Task...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Oct 27, 2016

ARLINGTON, Va. – Awareness is rising among current and former NFL players about the risks their chosen profession has on their long-term health, as exposure to repetitive blows to the head has been associated with the neurodegenerative disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

While currently the condition can only be confirmed postmortem, it does have recognizable symptoms at the onset of the disease. Mainly, behavioral/mood changes can begin at approximately age 35 years that can progress to subsequent cognitive deficits. Alternatively, there can be cognitive impairment later in life that progresses to dementia.

According to a study published online today by the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences (JNCN), researchers at Boston University found that a high level of “...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Sep 27, 2016

ARLINGTON, Va. – The American Psychiatric Association (APA) welcomes and strongly supports the comprehensive mental health agenda introduced this afternoon by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

"The detailed mental health plan outlined by Hillary Clinton is sweeping in nature and, if enacted, would greatly improve the nation's mental health care system," said APA President Maria A. Oquendo, M.D. "Her plan promotes early intervention and prevention, stronger enforcement of parity laws so psychiatric conditions are treated the same as other illnesses, and investments in brain and behavioral research. All of these measures are huge steps in the right direction."

The APA also applauds the inclusion of mental health into the nation's election year dialogue.

"We welcome the attention...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Sep 27, 2016

ARLINGTON, Va. – President-Elect of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Anita Everett, M.D., has been named the Chief Medical Officer at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In her role at SAMHSA, Everett will lead a newly created Office of the Chief Medical Officer with five dedicated staff, including an additional physician. She begins her duties at SAMHSA on Sept. 5.

“SAMHSA has selected a great physician whose experience and expertise as a psychiatrist will add value to SAMHSA through its newly created medical office,” said APA President Maria A. Oquendo, M.D. “Her experience will also benefit providers of prevention, treatment and recovery services for those with mental illness. We look forward to working with Dr. Everett in her new role and with SAMHSA and HHS.”...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Sep 27, 2016

ARLINGTON, Va. – Today the American Psychiatric Association issued the following statement from its president, Maria A. Oquendo, M.D., following passage of bipartisan mental health reform legislation, H.R. 2646, Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act in the House Energy and Commerce Committee:

“We commend the House Energy and Commerce Committee for passage of H.R. 2646,” said APA President Maria A Oquendo, M.D. “Today’s vote is a major step in the long journey to reform our nation’s broken mental health system. We now urge the full House to take up and pass this bipartisan legislation. The nation’s mental health system needs reform—too many people with mental illness, including substance use disorders, are not getting the care they need. The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act is critical to...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Jun 16, 2016

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