Federal News & Issues

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

Washington, D.C., Jan. 18, 2021 — The American Psychiatric Association today apologized to Black, Indigenous and People of Color for its support of structural racism in psychiatry. Written and issued by the organization’s Board of Trustees, the apology acknowledges past practices and events in psychiatry that contributed to racial inequality, and expresses the organization’s commitment to developing anti-racist policies that promote equity in mental health for all. The apology is available to the public on APA’s website with an accompanying document covering some historical instances of racism in organized psychiatry.

“We...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Jan 18, 2021

Washington, D.C., Jan. 7, 2021 — The American Psychiatric Association today condemns the violence that occurred during what should have been a peaceful step in the transfer of power in Washington, D.C., and offers resources for those whose mental health is impacted.

The world is still processing the unprecedented assault on democracy that occurred yesterday in the nation’s capital. The leaders of yesterday’s aggression and those that encouraged such anti-American conduct must be held accountable. The stark contrast between the government’s response to Black Lives Matter protesters during the summer and fall, a significant proportion of whom were Black, and its response to mostly white MAGA protesters yesterday, is deeply concerning.

These events coupled with the ongoing COVID pandemic continue to increase the anxiety...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Jan 7, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 22, 2020 – The American Psychiatric Association (APA) today lauded Congress for passing the Strengthening Behavioral Health Parity Act (H.R. 7539) and including several key mental health and substance use-related programs in its combined $1.4 trillion year-end appropriations and COVID-relief funding package.

H.R. 7539 gives the Department of Labor new powers to regulate and audit health plans to determine if they are in compliance with the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. The new legislation was introduced by Reps. Joe Kennedy (D-MA), Katie Porter (D-CA), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Fred Upton (R-MI), as part of the overall year-end funding package, and was the product of negotiations between the House and Senate related to the bipartisan Mental Health Parity Compliance Act,...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Dec 22, 2020

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