From the Public Interest Directorate

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Youth Suicide Prevention Programs

From the APA Public Policy Office: 2006 Education Advocacy—In Brief

Unprecedented Response to Education-PPO Action Alerts!
Over the past six months Education-PPO has seen an unprecedented response to Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) Action Alerts. In fact, Congress received over 5,500 messages from the psychology education community. Most importantly, as a result of the overwhelming support, we have made substantial progress in gaining support for GPE from key legislators.

FEDAC Grassroots Network Growing

Over the past several months, Education PPO staff has been busy recruiting seven new Regional Coordinators for the Federal Education Advocacy Coordinators (FEDAC) grassroots network. The grassroots network is divided up into ten regions across the country. Given that each region is comprised of a number of states, it is our goal to recruit two Regional Coordinators for each region. We expect to fill three vacancies early in 2007. FEDACs are helping to recruit and increase the number of Campus/Training Representatives at the psychology programs and training sites in the various states within their region. In addition, the Education policy staff also sent out a letter to nearly 400 APA accredited doctoral program and internship site inviting them to join the FEDAC grassroots network.

Graduate Psychology Education Program

Although the House Subcommittee on Labor-Health and Human Services-Education provided no funding for 2006 for the Title VII Bureau of Health Professions Programs, including the GPE Program, it provided $2 million for the 2007 fiscal year. The Senate also included $2 million. Since the Labor, Health & Human Services, Education Appropriations bill was not passed, the GPE Program was level-funded at $1.8 million. Unfortunately, this level of funding denies the seven targeted geropsychology training grants and reduces the remaining twenty grants by almost half; however, it does keep the federal psychology education and training program alive. A new three year competition was started for twenty grants in mid-December.

2007 Defense Graduate Psychology Education (D-GPE) Program Appropriation

The D-GPE Program that was launched this year by Congressman Bill Young (R-FL), the Chair of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee through the intervention of APA member, Herb Goldstein PhD, who is in private practice in St. Petersburg, FL was again included in the House bill on June 8, 2006 at $3.6 million, $200,000 over the FY 2006 level. We were not successful in finding a Senate sponsor so the overall funding was reduced to $2.9 million for FY 2007. Since the appropriations process was very late this year, the program is just starting. Curriculum has been developed and staff at the CDP has been hired. Dr. David Riggs, PhD, formerly of the University of Pennsylvania will head the project. Click here for the APA Monitor article on the new D-GPE Program

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Youth Suicide Prevention Programs

The Campus Suicide Prevention Grant Program, that was authorized as part of the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act in October 2004 and of which the APA Education Directorate played a key role, is designed to strengthen and enhance mental and behavioral health services on college campuses. Full funding is being sought for FY 2007 for the three GLSMA suicide prevention programs.

College Access and Opportunity Act and No Child Left Behind Act

On March 30th, the U.S. House of Representative passed HR 609, the College Access and Opportunity Act of 2005 by a vote of 221 – 199. This legislation reauthorized many of the programs contained in the Higher Education Act, a law that guides our federal investment in post-secondary study. The full Senate did not get to consider its version of the Higher Education Act reauthorization (S.1614). In addition, Education and Public Interest policy staff launched an effort to develop one set of comprehensive, Association-wide recommendations to the “No Child Left Behind Act,” the law that guides the federal investment in elementary and secondary education.

Targeted Nominations Statement for Terms Beginning in 2008

The Committee on Lesbian, Gay, & Bisexual Concerns (CLGBC) seeks nominations for two positions beginning January 1, 2008. Nominees are sought who have experience or expertise relevant to one or more of the following areas:

Policy and advocacy,
Practice with lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender clients;
Couples and family;

The Committee particularly welcomes nominations of ethnic minority psychologists, bisexual psychologists, psychologists with disabilities, and transgender psychologists, and other psychologists who are members of underrepresented groups. In considering nominees, the Committee will also consider the range of major fields and specializations in psychology and the geographic diversity represented in its membership.
The Committee's mission is to:
study and evaluate on an ongoing basis how the issues and concerns of lesbian, gay male, and bisexual psychologists can best be dealt with;
encourage objective and unbiased research in areas relevant to lesbian, gay male, and bisexual adults and youths, and the social impact of such research;
examine the consequences of inaccurate information and stereotypes about lesbian, gay male, and bisexual adults and youths in clinical practice;
develop educational materials for distribution to psychologists and others; and
make recommendations regarding the integration of these issues into the APA's activities to further the cause of civil and legal rights of lesbian, gay male, and bisexual psychologists within the profession.

The Committee consists of six members, three women and three men, appointed for staggered terms of three years. It reports to the Council of Representatives through the Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest. Committee members are required to attend two Committee meetings a year in Washington, DC, with expenses reimbursed by APA. Service on the Committee also involves a substantial time commitment beyond the meetings themselves.

A statement of the nominee’s interest in and qualifications for the Committee and a current curriculum vitae should accompany the nomination. Self nominations are accepted. Nomination materials are to be received by AUGUST 31, 2007, mail to CLGBC Nominations, Public Interest Directorate, at the APA Address, or via Email.

BAPPI 2007 Call for Nominations

The American Psychological Association's Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest (BAPPI) is seeking nominations for three new members to terms beginning on January 1, 2008 and expiring on December 31, 2010.

BAPPI solicits nominees who have exhibited: 1) Commitment to Public Interest ideals demonstrated by a history of working actively for social responsibility and justice; 2) Substantive knowledge and expertise in integrating diverse communities; 3) Experience in APA governance, defined broadly to include not only boards and committees, but also Council, divisions, and state associations.

To fulfill its commitment to full diversity in representation, BAPPI’s three slates will be composed as follows: a) one slate of Hispanic-American psychologists; b) one slate of Native-American psychologists; and c) one slate of Female Caucasian-American psychologists.

BAPPI members are required to attend two board meetings each year in Washington, DC with expenses reimbursed by the APA. Candidates should ensure they can attend all board meetings. In 2008, the meetings will be March 28-30 and October 24-26. Board members are also expected to work on BAPPI priorities between meetings.

Nomination materials should include a current curriculum vita and a letter from the nominee that indicates willingness to serve on BAPPI and highlights specific competencies and interests that they would be able to contribute to the work of BAPPI. Self-nominations are encouraged. APA nominations are open to members who are retired, employed less than full time, or work full time Letters of support from other APA governance groups, APA divisions, state psychological associations and other groups or organizations will also be accepted. Nominations are open to all APA members.

Nominations and supporting materials should be sent by March 1, 2007 to: Shirlene A. Archer, JD, Director, Administration and Board Operations, Public Interest Directorate, APA Public Interest Directorate Executive Office, at the APA Address or via Email.

Working Group on Psychotropic Medications for Children and Adolescents

The use of psychotropic medications for children and adolescents was brought to the Association’s attention by the Council of Representatives Child and Family Caucus. Acting on the Caucus’s recommendation, the APA Board of Directors and the Council of Representatives funded three meetings of the Working Group on Psychotropic Medications for Children and Adolescents from March 27, 2004 – December 2005 from their Discretionary Funds.

Working group members were appointed by then APA President Diane Halpern, PhD. They were: Ronald T. Brown, PhD, ABPP, chair; David Antonuccio, PhD, ABPP; George J. DuPaul, PhD; Mary Fristad, PhD, ABPP; Cheryl Ann King, PhD, ABPP; Laurel Leslie, MD; William E. Pelham, Jr., PhD; John Piacentini, PhD, ABPP; and Benedetto Vitiello, MD. Laurel Leslie, MD, representing the American Academy of Pediatrics joined the working group in 2005.

The working group was charged with reviewing the literature and preparing a comprehensive report on the current state of knowledge concerning the effective use, sequencing, and integration of psychotropic medications and psychosocial interventions for children and adolescents. This review included a comparative examination of the risk-benefit ratio of psychosocial and pharmacological treatments and the range of child and adolescent psychopharmacology including the appropriateness of medication practices.

As noted in the executive summary, the working group reviewed the existing literature in peer-reviewed journals (included as part of MEDLINE and PsycINFO), as well as Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data concerning safety. For the psychological disorders most prevalent in children and adolescents, the various psychosocial, psychotropic, and combination treatments were reviewed, including the effect of each therapy, the strength of evidence of its efficacy, and the limitations and side effects of each treatment in the short- and long-term. An Efficacy Summary Table for treatments targeting each type of child psychopathology is included in each section.

The report includes information on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, Tourette and tic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders, depression and suicidality, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia spectrum disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and elimination disorders. Information regarding specific psychosocial, psychopharmalogical, and combined treatments for each disorder are included.

The document was reviewed externally and by APA boards and committees. Through early 2006 the working group members continued to revise the document based on comments provided. During their August 2006 meeting, the Council of Representatives adopted the report titled Report of the APA Working Group on Psychotropic Medications for Children and Adolescents: Psychopharmacological, Psychosocial, and Combined Interventions for Childhood Disorders: Evidence Base, Contextual Factors, and Future Directions. The Office of Member and Public Communications distributed the Report to the media, the Public Interest Public Policy Office distributed the Report to policy makers. The Children, Youth, and Families Office continues to distribute the report to relevant organizations, agencies, and to the public. The full report is available at this Web address Hard copies are available by contacting Efua Andoh via Email.

Task Force on Resiliency and Strength in Black Children and Adolescents (RSBCA)

At its February 2006 meeting, the Board of Directors allocated 2006 discretionary funds to support one meeting in 2006 of the RSBCA. The task force was charged with the identification of factors that contribute to the healthy development of Black children and adolescents in three contexts: families, schools, and peer groups. Focus on disparity data in terms of income, female-headed households, academic achievement and criminal justice system involvement fails to inform about attitudes and behaviors that contribute to Black children and adolescents being resilient and strong. The compilation of relevant research data as well as the identification of successful academic programming will provide another lens with which to view these individuals. Such information can inform policy and programming in communities where African Americans reside. The following persons were appointed by APA President Gerald P. Koocher, PhD, to serve on the task force: Stephanie Coard, PhD, Chair; Michele Cooley, PhD; Anne Gregory, PhD; Yolanda Jackson, PhD; Robert Jagers, PhD; Caryn Rodgers, PhD; Robert Sellers, PhD; and Anita Thomas, PhD. There were also two Senior Advisors appointed to the group: Faye Belgrave, PhD, and Margaret Beale Spencer, PhD. The RSBCA met on October 27-29 at the APA offices in Washington, DC and identified issues, developed a product outline, assigned writing tasks, and established deadlines. For additional information, contact Keyona King-Tsikata via Email.

Task Force on Evidence-Based Practice with Children and Adolescents (EBPCA)

During the April 2006 consolidated meetings the Board of Directors met and allocated funding from their 2006 discretionary funds for two meetings of the Working Group on Evidence-Based Practice for Children and Adolescents. The task force was charged with reviewing the extant literature and preparing a comprehensive report on the current state of knowledge concerning evidence-based psychological practice with children and adolescents. This would include empirically supported principles and evidence applied to psychological assessment, case formulation, possible mediating variables such as therapeutic relationship, and intervention with children and adolescents (and often their caregivers). Also included would be the acknowledgement of the variety of settings in which services are provided to children, including schools, clinics, hospitals, independent practices, and homes and the need to consider setting characteristics when implementing evidence-based practice. In addition, developmental and cultural characteristics that influence the applicability, acceptance, and efficacy of evidence-based practice would be addressed. The task force was encouraged to consider implications of its findings for future research agendas and for the education and training of psychologists with specificity to evidence-based practice with children and adolescents. The following persons were appointed by APA President Gerald P. Koocher, PhD to serve on the Task Force: Anne Kazak, PhD, Chair; Gerard Banez, PhD; Kimberly Hoagwood, PhD; Korey Hood, PhD; Thomas Kratochwill, PhD; Luis Vargas, PhD; and John Weisz, PhD. Due to scheduling conflicts, the task force was able to schedule only one meeting, November 9-11, 2006. The task force identified issues, developed a product outline, assigned writing tasks, and established deadlines. For additional information, contact Keyona King-Tsikata via Email. 

CYF Call for Nominations for Terms Beginning in 2008

The Committee on Children, Youth, and Families (CYF) is anticipating two vacancies in 2008. CYF welcomes nominations from individuals interested in linking research and policy for children and families within APA and the profession. The Committee is particularly interested in candidates with substantial expertise and demonstrated experience in applying psychological knowledge to the well being and optimal development of children, youth, and families; and in issues advancing psychology as a science and profession in the area of promoting health and human welfare. Candidates are sought who have particular expertise in contemporary issues facing children, youth, and families in the context of their socioemotional and cognitive development and mental health Candidates who have particular interest in culturally and linguistically diverse, understudied, underserved and diverse populations are particularly encouraged to apply.

Members are expected to participate in a targeted project directly related to CYF’s work and mission and to APA as a whole. The project is to be completed during their three-year term on the Committee. Some examples of projects previously implemented by the Committee include immigrant children, youth, and families; school drop-out prevention; sexuality education; social practices that induce violence; psychological implications of disasters; early mental health interventions; violence against children in the family and community; training psychologists to work in the public sector; cultural competence; day care; testing; the mental health needs of children and adolescents in the juvenile justice system, bullying and violence in videogames and interactive media. Areas of interest to the Committee at present include rural children’s mental health, mental health disparities, and cultural diversity. Potential candidates are encouraged to visit the CYF website to learn more about CYF’s mission and prior initiatives.

The Committee places a priority on maintaining representation within the Committee's membership that reflects the diversity of psychology and society (e.g., ethnicity, culture, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, geographic location, and those who are employed less than full time). The candidates selected to serve on the Committee will serve for three years and will be required to attend two Committee meetings a year in Washington, DC, with expenses reimbursed by APA, and to participate in conference calls. The successful candidate is expected to attend, if possible, the informal CYF meeting held during the APA convention at the member's own expense. In addition, members are expected to work on projects and Committee business between meetings.

Each candidate is asked to submit:
(1) a letter indicating his/her willingness to serve;
(2) a brief statement describing the applicants expertise and interest in one or two contemporary issues facing children, adolescents and families that they would bring to the Committee; and
(3) a current curriculum vita.

Nomination material including a letter from the candidate indicating a willingness to serve, issues statement, and a current CV must be received by Monday, August 27, 2007. Nomination material received after August 27 will be held for consideration the following year. Although it is not required, candidates are encouraged to have letters (not more than three) supporting their nomination submitted to the Committee. Material may be sent to CYF Nominations, c/o Efua Andoh, CYF Administrative Coordinator, Public Interest Directorate, at the APA Address, via Email or fax (+1/202) 336-6040.