Goings on at the APA Board of Directors December 2013 meeting

There were a number of division-related items on the December Board of Directors agenda.

By Sarah Jordan

The APA Board of Directors voted on three items related to divisions at its Dec. 13-15, 2013 meeting.

First, the board approved the Committee on Division/APA Relations (CODAPAR) recommendation on funding six out of 16 proposals received for the 2014 Interdivisional Grant Program. The following proposals were funded:

“A Web-Based Concussion Toolkit — A Collaborative Resource for Clinical, Research, and Legislative Efforts” ($5,000)

Divisions: 19, 22, 31, 40, 47
Abstract: The proposed web-based “Concussion Toolkit” will provide resources for clinicians, researchers and legislative advocates working in the concussion field. As information related to concussion is being presented by the media at a historic rate (frequently with limited empirical backing), there is need for empirically-based information on the assessment and treatment of concussion-related sequelae. Psychologists are particularly poised to meet the increasing clinical/research demand, as they have produced much of the scientific literature on concussion. Nonetheless, legislation has been passed in some states which limit participation of psychologists in concussion-related care. Psychologists working in military, sports, veteran and civilian arenas would benefit from a one-source repository of empirically-based information on assessment and treatment, as well as information on “lessons learned” with regard to legislation-based advocacy. The involved divisions of APA will provide information, reviews and links related to their specific areas of interest as it pertains to concussion. In addition, the toolkit will include information on how best to lobby legislatures to change laws in this area (i.e., to advocate for psychologists to be included in the process).  

“Exercise and Mental Health: Resources for Psychologists, Consumers and the Public” ($3,195)

Divisions: 17, 22, 42, 47
Abstract: The proposed Exercise and Mental Health website will provide resources for practitioners and the public regarding the general benefits of exercise for mental health as well as for those with specific conditions. The evidence for the positive effects of exercise on mental health continues to accumulate. However, the use of exercise in mental health treatment regimens is lagging behind the available evidence, for example in comparative effectiveness relative to medication in depression and in prevention of cognitive decline in normal aging and dementia. The proposed website will be a central resource for practitioners, clients and others interested for information related to the benefits of exercise in mental health, including availability of printable factsheets. The website will also provide areas designed for specific populations and conditions such as for those who are injured and/or disabled, involved in rehabilitation, older adults and veterans.

“Establishment of the Mental Health Mobile Phone Application Review Database” ($4,450)

Divisions: 29, 46, 56
Abstract: Divs. 56 (Trauma), 29 (Psychotherapy) and 46 (Society for Media Psychology and Technology) propose the development of a Mental Health Mobile Phone Application Review database, linked to the three division websites. By providing reviews of applications in an easily accessible format, the project will meet the APA goal of pursuit of excellence by providing APA members with evaluated tools to augment service delivery. The database will also enhance the potential effectiveness of self-help strategies, thus serving the community and highlighting the role of APA in championing ethical and empirically based interventions, core values of APA. The project serves the strategic goal of expanding psychology’s role in advancing health through education and creation of what is likely to be a highly accessed database for researchers and professionals. Beginning our work with evaluation of apps related to stress/trauma/anxiety, we have an ideal combination of experts with Divs. 56 (knowledge of stress/trauma), 29 (expertise in psychotherapy) and 46 (expertise in technology).  

“Improving School Climate for LGBT Youth: Resources and Interventions” ($5,000)

Divisions: 16, 44
Abstract: Divs. 16 (School) and 44 (Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues), among others, have been crafting text for a possible new resolution concerning LGBT youth in schools. Any recommendations for how schools can improve their climates to support the resiliency, mental health and health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender diverse youth will only be effective if there are materials, resources and models that can be implemented by school staff and administrators, school psychologists and community mental health providers. We propose a task force that would generate a detailed resource list, model curricula or other resources that can be disseminated to school districts. The grant would support the creation of materials for use by school psychologists, school administrators, staff, teachers and community agencies focused on the health of LGBT youth.

“Promoting Brief, Evidence-based Assessment and Intervention in Interdisciplinary Health Care Settings: An Online Educational Tool Kit and Conference Event for Students” ($1,550)

Divisions: 22, 38, 40
Abstract: Evidence increasingly supports health service psychologists as beneficial components of collaborative health care models. Health psychologists, rehabilitation psychologists and clinical neuropsychologists are among those most likely to work in interdisciplinary medical settings. Clinical psychologists within these specialties share primary goals of translating science into practical, evidence-based clinical practice and of working collaboratively as part of a broader health care team. For graduate students planning to pursue careers in one of these specialty areas, additional training is warranted to prepare for the unique demands associated with interdisciplinary health care provision. Accordingly, Divs. 22 (Rehabilitation), 38 (Health) and 40 (Society for Clinical Neuropsychology) aim to design a web-based educational resource for graduate-level students training in these specialty areas, and to facilitate an educational presentation for students at the 2014 APA Annual Convention that addresses pathways to board certification in these respective health care specialties. A $2,500 budget is proposed to accomplish these aims.

“Psychological Science & Innovative Care Strategies: Informing Health Care Redesign & Improving Care for Youths” ($5,000)

Divisions: 37, 53, 54
Abstract: This proposal brings together collaborative teams from Divs. 53 (Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology), 37 (Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice) and 54 (Society of Pediatric Psychology) to address the question: how can we best mobilize the science of psychology to improve health and mental/behavioral health care for youths in this era of health care reform? Aligning with two goals of APA’s Strategic Plan, expanding psychology’s role in advancing health and increasing recognition of psychology as a science, we will form collaborative teams to examine key issues for improving health/mental health care, including: improving care access, reducing health disparities; enhancing quality of care, strengthening evidence-based and evidence-informed care; prevention; integrated behavioral health and health care; and workforce development/training. Researchers and clinicians from the teams will work with stakeholders and policymakers in a one-day forum, with forum results presented at the APA convention, integrated in a report/PDF-book, supplemented with forum recordings and available as online resources for the field.

Second, the Board of Directors voted to support a recommendation by CODAPAR to increase the total fund amount of the Interdivisional Grant Program from $25,000 to $50,000. The Council of Representatives will vote on this item at its February 2014 meeting and if approved the increase will be available for funding the 2015 Interdivisional Grants.

Finally, the Board of Directors voted to disseminate a petition for a new division, Society for Technology and Psychology (PDF, 322KB), based on its determination that the technical requirements of the APA Bylaws and Association Rules regarding the creation of a new division had been met. Divisions and representatives to council have been invited to comment on the petition. A list of verified signatories is available online (PDF, 174KB). The deadline for comments is Feb. 10, 2014 and should be sent to Sarah Jordan in the APA Division Services Office.