Successful APA Advocacy Ensures Veteran Patient Safety Regarding MH Care

After significant APA advocacy, the House Veterans ’ Affairs Committee removed a proposal to implement a pilot program allowing clinical psychologists to prescribe and manage medications for veterans who seek care in the Veterans Health Administration.After learning about the proposal, APA issued an advocacy alert that resulted in over 1,000 members sending more than 3,000 letters to their elected officials on Capitol Hill, opposing the proposal and urging lawmakers to ensure veterans receive the highest quality mental health care possible. Similarly, APA leadership, as well as government relations and policy staff members, vigorously lobbied members of Congress on and off the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees and engaged in conversations with top staff at the VA.The House proposed the pilot program in legislation on veteran suicide prevention that was intended to be a companion bill to the Senate-passed suicide prevention package that had cleared the upper chamber earlier this summer. The House passed its legislation this week without the provision allowing psychologists to prescribe or manage medications.“We will continue our work with the VA, Congress, and partner organizations to improve the mental health and substance use care available to our veterans through the VHA and beyond,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “We must work with policymakers on genuine solutions that promote the recruitment and retention of ...
Source: Psychiatr News - Category: Psychiatry Tags: advocacy APA lobbying psychologists prescribing Saul Levin VA veterans Source Type: research

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