Federal News & Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 10, 2021 – The American Psychiatric Association applauded the inclusion of several provisions important to mental health in the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R. 1319), that passed the U.S. House of Representatives today. The final package, which the president is expected to sign soon, includes around $4 billion in funding for programs that support prevention of and treatment for mental health and substance use disorders.

Among the provisions APA supported are:

  • Funding for mental health/substance use disorder (SUD) services through programs like the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant and Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant.
  • The Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, which...
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Author: mbourdase - Published: Mar 10, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 1, 2021 – Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) leaders in academic medicine are subject to increasing expectations with limited resources and there is an urgent need for psychiatry departments to commit to fully supporting their efforts, according to an article now available in the American Journal of Psychiatry written by top DEI leaders in academic psychiatry from across the country.

The authors, representing prominent public and private institutions, include Ayana Jordan, M.D., Ph.D., Yale University, and current APA ECP Trustee-at-Large; Ruth S. Shim, M.D., M.P.H. University of California, Davis; Carolyn I. Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D., Stanford University; Eraka Bath, M.D., University of California, Los Angeles; Jean-Marie Alves-Bradford, M.D., Columbia University; Lisa Eyler, Ph.D., University of...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Mar 1, 2021

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

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