Advocacy and involvement in the political process are “absolutely vital” if psychiatrists want lawmakers to address their concerns, says a member of Congress at APA’s advocacy conference.
About 80 APA members stormed Capitol Hill in late March to educate lawmakers with a number of messages centering around the needs of people with mental illness. Leading the march was APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. (first row, second from left). The event was part of the APA’s annual Advocacy Leadership Conference.
With the recent and continued changes in health care laws, psychiatrists are ensuring that the rights and needs of those with mental illness are being discussed on Capitol Hill and that a new generation of psychiatrists continues to carry the torch.
On March 24, APA members, including many resident-fellow members, gathered in Washington, D.C., to kick off the three-day Advocacy Leadership Conference sponsored by APA.
“The goal of APA’s advocacy infrastructure is to pull together our federal and state lobbyists, health systems, and communication operation into one well-oiled machine,” said Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A., CEO and medical director of APA, during opening remarks. Levin emphasized that all APA members play a critical role in advocating for mental health and that it is important to tell the stories of those living with mental illness to lawmakers and elected officials.
Since 2014 is an important year for electing those who can influence changes in laws, with November’s congressional elections, keynote speaker Larry Sabato, Ph.D., spoke about how changes in Congress can be detrimental to the progress of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which builds on the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. The political analyst and the Robert Kent Gooch Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia said that the candidates elected to office this year—and in coming years—will have a lot of influence over whether the ACA will be sustained. READ MORE. ■
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