December APA News and Notes

What’s New at the APA

  • APA released a statement calling for improved access to treatment for substance use disorders (SUDs) in the wake of a CDC report that detailed over 100,000 overdose deaths between April 2020 and April 2021. APA also called for collaboration between Congress and addiction treatment experts to develop and implement science-based policies and programs to end the opioid epidemic, more support for training of clinicians to treat people with SUDs.  You can read the full statement here.
  • APA released a statement praising the U.S. House passage of the Build Back Better Act, a $2 trillion spending package that contains significant funding for mental health and substance use disorder programs. Among the health care provisions that would be expanded by the bill are Mental Health Parity, funding to grow the Behavioral Health Workforce, funding for mobile crisis services and the 9-8-8 hotline, and an extension to the Children’s Health Insurance Program. You can learn more about the bill and read more about its mental health provisions here
  • A recent report from SMI Adviser explores obstacles to connecting rural and remote populations with mental health care and offers solutions developed by clinicians, administrators and other staff working in those areas. “Improving Behavioral Health Services for Individuals with SMI in Rural and Remote Communities,” is designed to provide a resource for practitioners and policymakers working in rural and remote areas to improve the availability, accessibility, and acceptability of behavioral health care for individuals with SMI. You can learn more about SMI Adviser and read the full report here.

Key Dates and Observances
APA Communications staff maintains a calendar of key dates, observances and events at APA and in the world of mental health in general. The calendar is kept up to date a few months in advance. You can view the calendar and keep track of important mental health dates and observances here.

December Course of the Month – Exploration of How to Care for Pregnant Women with Psychiatric Illness
The risk for development of a mood or psychotic disorder is highest in females during their reproductive years, resulting in a high likelihood that pregnancy and psychiatric illness will intersect. This course reviews the prevalence of common psychiatric disorders in pregnancy, the longitudinal course of illness, as well as management strategies for optimal care of pregnant women with psychiatric illness.

Click here to access the Course of the Month and sign up for updates about this free member benefit.

Board Elections: Meet-the-Candidates Town Halls
Want to learn about your Board of Trustees candidates? 

APA is hosting a series of four, live Meet-the-Candidate Virtual Town Halls, nightly between Dec. 13-16, at 8 p.m. ET.

Each will be a 60- to 90-minute live session, and each session will end with a Q&A. Submit your questions for candidates here.

Learn more and Register  -

Join AMNet: An Addiction Medicine Practice-Based Research Network
AMNet—a collaborative initiative from APA, American Society of Addiction Medicine, Friends Research Institute, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse—is seeking addiction medicine providers from a range of practices to participate in a research network. By joining, you will get free access to PsychPRO, APA’s patient portal, to generate patient-reported outcomes data. You will also receive a $1,000 honorarium, a tablet computer, and free CME courses.

Mental Health Professionals Guide to Their Role in the Criminal Justice System
This pocket guide is intended as a resource for all mental health professionals on how they can better support individuals with mental illness who become entangled in the criminal justice system. The book is a guide on how we can reclaim our community members and provide support no matter where they might find themselves in the system. 

Related: Free resources around Justice from the APA Foundation:

New Book from APA Publishing Examines a New Path Forward for Treating Mental Illness: Precision Psychiatry
Psychiatry is dedicated to understanding mental disorders. Although current treatment modalities can be remarkably effective at improving patients' quality of life and mitigating the burden of symptoms for disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, or posttraumatic stress disorder, finding the right treatment for an individual can be a long and fraught process during which symptoms can worsen the risks associated with other health conditions. Precision psychiatry, as outlined in this groundbreaking book, presents a new path forward. Learn more:

Neurodiversity: From Phenomenology to Neurobiology and Enhancing Technologies, is an introduction to the strengths-based model of neurodiversity (SBMN), designed to integrate and build on existing theories of positive psychology, positive psychiatry, multiple intelligences, and developmental psychology and to apply them to devise strengths-based assessments and interventions for neurodiverse individuals. Learn more in this new book from APA Publishing:

Mentally Healthy Nation Podcast 
Mentally Healthy Nation is the voice of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation. Join us for candid conversations that will focus on educating the public and providing tangible solutions to our mental health crisis. Each episode will focus on an aspect of mental health that impacts your community, where you live, learn, work, and worship.